Manuel says government can’t blame apartheid anymore

"We [government] should no longer say it's apartheid's fault," Manuel told reporters at the government leadership summit in Pretoria. 

"We should get up every morning and recognise we have responsibility. There is no longer the Botha regime looking over our shoulder, we are responsible ourselves."

Manuel said that in 1994, 1995, and 1996, government could perhaps have said "we don't have the experience", but as the country approached two decades of democracy this was no longer an excuse.

Government, led by the African National Congress, had served four terms. "It is a privilege to serve four consecutive terms, and with that privilege comes responsibility."

Manuel warned about the line between being a public servant and a politician becoming blurred. "Almost without exception public servants and we as ministers come from the same activist background, but what we must ensure is that even if we are members of the same political organisation, that is not carried into the work place," he said.


Public servants
At the same time, work-related issues could not be resolved in the political space. Manuel said government needed to make sure such lines were clear. However, this was not the same as the debate around cadre deployment.

"I can say without fear or contradiction that I have never appointed a senior public representative who doesn't share the same philosophical outlook, but that has not detracted us from dealing with matters in a very highly-professional way," he said.

The line was also blurred when a public representative interfered in procurement processes. Manuel said if pressure was put on a public servant, it was their responsibility to write to the minister of public service and administration and explain.

By dealing with these issues it would help build a strong and capable public service. – Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

‘Terrorised’ family shines a light on traditional leadership for vulnerable...

The ambiguity between traditional and constitutional leadership has been exposed by the violent banishment of an Eastern Cape family

Matrics fail at critical subjects

The basic education minister talks of quality passes achieved by the class of 2020, but a closer look at the results tells a different story

More top stories

Zulu land body challenges audit outcome

Ingonyama Trust Board chairperson Jerome Ngwenya has challenged the audit process in the face of a series of unfavourable ratings

The many faces of Idi Amin

Was he a joke, an oaf, a hero, or the evil dictator the West loved to hate? Decades after his death, his legacy is still a puzzle.

Review: Volvo XC40 is never intimidating

When you’re asked to drive 400km on a business trip, it really helps if you don’t have to do it in an old skorokoro. In this Volvo, it becomes a road trip to rival others.

Aliens in Lagos: sci-fi novel Lagoon offers a bold new...

Nnedi Okorafor’s ‘Lagoon’ is an immersive reimagining of Nigerian society that transports us into a future where queerness is normalised
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…