Dlamini-Zuma’s new job is a perfect fit

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s ability to identify problems and solve them, coupled with her diplomatic skills and determination, may be what’s needed to make the monitoring and evaluation ministry work.

Dlamini-Zuma’s predecessor, Jeff Radebe, has been criticised by, among others, the Democratic Alliance for being ineffective, failing to go beyond conducting imbizos and responding to crises after they had escalated.

Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, who served as Dlamini-Zuma’s deputy chief of staff at the African Union Commission (AUC), said her spearheading of long-term AU initiatives was an indication of her ability to devise and manage long-term strategy. Implementation mechanisms Dlamini-Zuma had driven, such as the member state levy and the alignment of member state budgets to include Agenda 2063 funding, were still working after her departure, Potgieter-Gqubule said.

“She also has 18 years of experience in South Africa’s government from a front-line department like health to Dirco [department of international relations and co-operation] and home affairs and has performed well in all three portfolios,” she said. “She has the understanding that governance is not about ticking boxes but about its impact on people.”

Dlamini-Zuma is credited with a series of successes at the health department, where she served between 1994 and 1999. She served two terms as international relations minister, from 1999 to 2009. Her third ministerial term, at home affairs, was cut short in 2012 when she was seconded to the AUC, where she served a five-year term as chairperson.

Nomfanelo Kota, the former director of media liaison at international relations, said Dlamini-Zuma’s ability to “bring warring parties together” and her willingness to consult those whose views would normally be ignored would assist in the new post.

“She also works very hard. There is no knocking off at 4.30pm and going home. She can start a meeting at 7pm and go through to 1am without batting an eyelid. Her staff won’t sleep,” Kota said.

Dlamini-Zuma’s new role gives her responsibility for evaluating, planning and monitoring government programmes to improve service delivery.

The department, which also oversees the National Youth Development Agency, has had clean audits every year since 2013-2014, but its critics say it replicates the functions of other departments and the Public Service Commission. Her department is also seen as ineffective because of legislative weaknesses.

The DA’s spokesperson on the presidency, Sej Motau, said her biggest challenge was that her ministry “has no teeth” to sanction dysfunctional departments or officials who were not performing. “The department is supposed to monitor and evaluate other government departments but, unfortunately, as the legislation stands now, they can only plead with people to do what they are supposed to do.”

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. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper

Coalition politics and law: The fight over Tshwane

With coalition politics on the rise, particularly in local government, this kind of court case is likely to become more common

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Press Releases

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday