zuma puts foot down cartoon

zuma puts foot down

Limpopo – Is Zuma finally delivering?

The recent actions of the South African treasury and central government in placing several state departments in various provinces – notably Limpopo and Eastern Cape, under administration were a surprise to many. But given widespread financial chaos and technical bankruptcy in Limpopo – the home of comrade revolutionaries Cassel Mathale and Juju, the treasury acted to ensure that civil servants and other creditors were paid to prevent anarchy and forestall an even greater sense that the ANC cannot rule effectively. In the Eastern Cape the wheels had long fallen off education and there too a central-led state team was dispatched to save the situation. However, these actions have not gone smoothly. The Limpopo team had to be escorted to work by armed security and in the Eastern Cape there is currently a stand off between SADTU and the new education administrators leaving many schools paralyzed by striking teachers.

How did the situation deteriorate to such an extent and why is central government finally taking a stand?

The inability to properly manage public finances and deliver tangibles, in particular for the working class, has been a feature of the New South Africa. A number of factors have contributed to this mess. Whilst recognizing that it was never going to be easy to take over the reins from a largely White, Afrikaner, racist bureaucracy and that it would be necessary in the short term to appoint cadres who were above all politically loyal to the objectives of the new government, the way the Mandela/ Mbeki presidencies dealt with this key challenge was woefully inadequate.

Three vital areas were mishandled. The first was the failure to pair political appointees (‘commissars’) with experienced administrators so that the knowledge/management skill deficit of the politicos did not become fatal to delivery.

Secondly, the failure to implement a code of conduct that barred civil servants from simultaneously becoming directors of and/ or running private businesses, has meant that many civil servants are more involved in their private affairs than in running government. Finally, the way in which state tenders have been manipulated has also contributed to the rot. A new class of tenderpreneurs has come to blight public life and erode trust in the ruling party. As a result local government which should be at the forefront of delivering the better life for all has become bogged down in power mongering and factionalism as the principles of ‘clean and efficient’ public service degenerate into a plundering of the state fiscus. This is why over the past financial year so much money (some R27 billion nationally) is either unaccounted for or was frivolously spent.

Why then has the Zuma regime cracked the whip? Was it simply to embarrass certain political opponents or is there a deeper current of real accountability taking place?

Internally within the ANC and the state apparatus, the setting up a National Planning Commission has put the spotlight on the state’s lack of performance. That Ramaphosa and Manuel are key members and that Ramaphosa, in particular, has political ambitions has meant that Zuma must watch his back. In addition, Pravin Gordhan, who turned SARS into a formidable instrument for tax collection, has made a difference. Treasury has become far more proactive and resistant to excess and waste at all levels. This is not to say that all loopholes have been closed but far greater oversight of provincial and central state expenditure is slowly being achieved. In addition, Cosatu has become more and more outspoken with regard to state negligence as its members bear the brunt of service failure. Indeed, this week the national leadership took the unprecedented step of challenging one of its own senior affiliates (SADTU) with regard to the education debacle in the Eastern Cape.

All this bodes well and one can only hope that this fresh wind continues to blow through government and further empowers those who take their responsibilities seriously. It is supremely ironic that this is happening under Zuma’s watch, but then irony is the stuff of history.

Share YOUR COMMENT on whether Zuma is finally delivering, or not.
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Related Wonkie posts on corruption, delivery and election promises:

  1. Corruption in South Africa
  2. Secrecy Bill
  3. Zuma election promises
  4. Pravin Gordhan news

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  1. COLLITJIES says

    It has taken Zoooma and his cronies a long time to realise that the cookie jar is running extremely low on funds. Although I suppose the National lottery is now their source of income so the cookie jar is for his underlings to plunder at will. As for JuJu what is he living on at present as there are no more big tenders to manipulate at present.

  2. Most commentators say the intervention of the central government into limpopo’s affairs, is just Zuma protecting his butt. he realised it is in Limpopo where Zuma rose to power, it will still be in Limpopo were Zuma will go down. No, we will all realise that president Jacob Zuma takes time before cracking the whip on wrong doers, he does not fly into action everytime the media reports on something. The president has taken very controvesial decisions since he came into power, he has never taken a decision based on media reports, you will realise that he was once a victim of the media trial.

    President Zuma is of course protecting his butt, at least by trying to do what is long overdue.
    The ANC will be holding a conference in a short time, and come elections, they will be out, they can sense that, So, it is time they satisfy their constituencies by making sure corrupt people are out. so they can retain their trust.

    Coming from Limpopo myself, I have seen and know exactly what they are talking about, when they talk about politicians enriching themselves. The ANC is now aware of exactly what will happen if the people of Limpopo and the Eastern cape become completely unsatisfied. this are the most rural provinces were they still have a strong hold.

    We will say Zuma is delivering the day I see the tenderpreneurs of Limpopo and EC are in court and made to pay the millions they have stolen and their assets taken by the state.

  3. LOL The only thing ZZZZuma is gonna deliver will be his 36th child!

  4. Too little too late and in any event I don’t think this will last, not long and they will be back to their old tricks again.

  5. That 27 billion is the real cost of affirmative action

  6. aaaaaaaaaaarrrgggh, more lies more lies………….@ Manthata, well said.

  7. Finance minister Pravin Gordhan’s pronouncements on the affairs of Limpopo are both shocking and encouraging. That the rot set in quite a number of years ago in this province is apparent in the horror facts Gordhan provided at a press conference recently. That the provincial administration must be investigated, dismantled and rehabilitated cannot be disputed. And this is what offers a moment of encouragement-the intervention by Gordhan’s dept offers an opportunity for change in Limpopo.

    Ofcourse the intervention has caused an outcry in certain quarters within the ANC, but the scope of the maladministration and corruption that is being exposed shows that Gordhan’s interference is necessary. Limpopo is the first province to be tackled, and it will not be the last. The fact that the provincial administration is so obviously incapable of managing its finances makes it urgent that Limpopo is first in line for national intervention.

    Gordhan is a capable and sensible talented bureaucrat as is evidenced by his tenure at SARS. To accuse him of being a puppet of certain ANC forces is short-sighted and denies the very real evidence of an inept and corrupt provincial administration. How does a province that receives an annual budget run out of money to pay the salaries of its civil servants?

    How does it get to the terribly tangled stage where corruption appears to be endemic to the way business is run? But while we applaud Gordhan for his decisive action, a major concern remains: why did it take the national government so long to recognise that the provinces were in serious trouble? Surely, the trouble arrived long before the Limpopo government found it could not pay its civil servants?

  8. While his adminstration is not trustworthy, It needs to be noted that not all Zuma has done is bad after all, this may be one of those wise few decisions he has made and needs to be applouded to encourage continued good deed.

  9. all coins has double sides then depends to a user which side you`ll prefere on the day and that may be determined your personnal feeling torwards an individual,who says good move he/she will have justification for that comment one made ,determined by the side of the coin the commentor used on the day as both sides has its justifiable reasons.NB the current president of the country and of umbutho wabantu (ANC)is the very first one that rules a mandate of the peoples,all says is the collective decisions by the people,even himself he his contribution into thst busket of the people ,remember we powerfull branches attached to the peoples on the ground .that 5 years mandate is very strong and equally important,it rules the entire 5 rulling years by our mondated nec.so the consultation in this broad church will always take its process.Those criticism to the president are from those who do not understand the running procedural of this big church.The promise those years back till to date”people shall gorven”not an individual.

    I thank


  10. According to the ex boss of the SIU Hofmeyr and the auditor general’s recent report, at least R20 to R30 billion of taxpayers money is being lost annually through corruption, wastage, incompetence, looting and negligence by this corrupt ANC led government led by the avaricious money lover of taxpayers money the rotund Zuma. Financial analyst’s maintain that this man Gordhan is likely to raise taxes at the budget in February either through a VAT increase or income tax increases. VAT increase is doubtful so it will be probably be via income tax. Inspite of the billions stolen by politicians we South Africans will typically not complain too much if taxes are raised. With the ‘cover up’ secrecy informationbill due to possibly be enacted in April we will never know after that the extent of this government’s rampant corruption. The COSATU new ‘corruption watch’ will become ineffective then and that is why the likes of Radabe are pretending to welcome the ‘watch’ now. This government is the most corrupt in the history of South Africa. There is absolutely no doubt about that. Yes even worse than the apartheid era governments. By the way, why when a minister does his/her job reasonably properly in South Africa, everyone thinks the sun shines from you know where. Dlamini- Zuma, Manuel and Gordhan are suddenly the greatest leaders in the world because they ran their respective departments efficiently. Meanwhile thay are paid millions of rands and massive tax free perks by we taxpayers to do their jobs efficiently. We must stop sycophantically grovelling and crawling to the politicians. Thats why most do not do their jobs efficiently. They expect to be grovelled to. I find them all to be self important untrustworthy clowns most of the time.

  11. @ manthata, excellent comment, but one thinks they left it far to long , you can not freeze an apple that is frozen it has become worthless. Zuma himself is corrupt, how does one deal with that.

  12. You hit the nail right on the head Dukie743. Trouble is – having fallen head-first into the hole how do we get out?

  13. Sorry should read freeze an apple that is already wrotten.

  14. Corruption is not being dealt with. Until such time as the perpetrators go to jail and finish their terms it will continue.

  15. you are very right Garth, in my opinion the whole of limpopo government and limpopo legislature must be dissolved and a totally new administration be put into place. then, I will say something is being done.
    @ president Zuma, to save your A@%, do the right thing.

  16. I think Zuma is indeed delivering, especially in Limpopo where we are led by a certain Cassel Mathale who seem to be clueless on how to govern. A guy who is only interested in embezzling the state funds together with his corrupt MECs. He(Mathale) must always be praying for Zuma to get a chance to serve a second term. I wonder whether the guy is really really fit to run a spazza-shop. What a shame!

  17. Mthofi, wake up. The Government view on corruption is if it is an ANC cadre cover it up,make an excuse, anything rather than send a pal to chookie.

  18. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    Garth has it right, as usual. However some of the cadres are too difficult to cover up and the Judiciary is too independent to kow-tow to a group of self-serving politicians. However, even when our excellent judges do their job, the politicians stick their noses in again for their favoured few and get them into ‘parole’ on ‘medical grounds’ – witness the “terminal depression” of a certain shabby shaker and ” ‘A’ kidney failure” of an ex-presidential cop.

    Corruption manifests itself in many ways – one which made the news all over the world was the distribution of condoms (which a person can get for free at any government clinic anyway) at the Centenary Celebrations in Bloemfontein and their subsequent re-call when they were found to be defective. I wonder which cadre in the Almost New Condoms made money on THAT deal. Btw – almost none of the thousands of defective condoms were returned (used or otherwise). I think we can probably rule JZ out on this particular deal – he wouldn’t use one anyway – he prefers a shower. (Probably doesn’t know how to put one on

  19. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    Sorry people – the last bit of my comment somehow got chopped off:

    (Probably doesn’t know how to put one on… and it’s “too gay” to ask for a demonstration, isn’t it, guys? …guys? …GUYS???)

  20. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    Let’s face facts – the ANC still has not got the right mechanism in place to do a re-call either in the right manner or at the right time. Witness not only this (FAILED) re-call but also that one of their premier intellectual – Thabo Mbeki.

    What a way to encourage the PREVENTION of HIV/AIDS – issuing – and later (much later) re-calling DEFECTIVE condoms !!! How encouraging is that!!

  21. He probably does know how to put on a condom he just cant fit it over his head

  22. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    But if it is one of the re-called ones he would probably still be able to breathe.

  23. Malema is down as appeals comittee upholds NDC judgement, its time Zuma consider way out

  24. The NEC, ANC & NDC are all a bunch of baboons (Fatboy’s words not mine). Fatboy threatened a friendly neighbour with insurrection, he presumed he was more powerful than his party, he misbehaved badly (very badly). The ANC is now proposing a raft of appeals in mitigation could take another year. He has been found guilty he must not get away with it (like others in the ANC). In fact he should have been thrown out because he is the most stupid of the baboons.

  25. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    Garth. Whilst agreeing 100% with the sentiment, I can only express my grave doubts as to the outcome.
    I am pretty sure that shower-head and the other Almost New Condom upper crust don’t read this blog – those who can – and even if they do, they probably think it’s a good way to let their critics blow off steam.
    What they fail to understand is that the subscribers to this blog come from all walks of society and all shades of political persuasion. If they understood that, then the 90-something % of us who are openly critical might just get a “mini-hearing” and they might actually start thinking along some genuinely pro-populace lines and get South Africa’s act back together before we all end up in a Zim-style trash barrel.
    Sure, appeals are good if they support laws and regulations – but not if they are used to buy time so that influential “friends” (some of whom may be friends for the benefits) can get words (non-threatening or otherwise) into the ears of those who must come back with the final decision – you know; the one before the absolutely final decision and then abso-bloody-lutely final decision.
    Any advance on “abso-bloody-lutely” ???

  26. Wonder if these corrupt officials will ever be jailed, they forget that they are in fact employees of the public who pays there salaries and not the other way round, time the system changes where those in leading positions should be appointed by an independent panel of experts in each category and not a president that appoints someone just because he likes him or her. Like was mentioned above the only thing the pres can deliver is babies and we are overpopulated already.

  27. I like the strategy Zuma uses to get rid of this good for nothing skelms in our goverment.The only things he needs to pull up he socks is to create jobs and deal with corruption.

  28. Peace; you are so right. But if you think that the ANC will put its buddies in jail you are mistaken.

  29. Guys, yes ANC may not put to jail one of their own, remember they know each other’s sins and that makes it difficult for the big guy to deal with the situation. This is a generation of corrupt officials and we probably need to applaud the big man if he puts down the small sinners, that reduces the damange they inflict on the economy. we should push for action and little by little they will be forced to put down one of their own as they try to clean up their image, thats besides plan “B”.

  30. Those corrupt officials merely emulate the chief of corruption who was not man enough to face a South African court and prove his innocence of strong NPA allegations of corruption. That shame and the shame of South Africa for allowing him to become a state president whilst under serious suspicion of corruption will never go away until this man Zuma faces that court. He may well be innocent as he claims. If so why not appear and prove it. An innocent man has nothing to fear.

  31. Garth exactly that is why I mentioned I wonder, sure they wont be jailed , there will be non of them left if that happens , most of them will be in jail. Zuma himself is deceitful and corrupt, with many of the others right to to community leaders. Look at Krugersdorp Westrand, disgusting that the councilor call that informal settlement her property???? what does that mean?? and that is just one of them, whether the public wants to acknowledge it or not we do have a very serious problem, and not going to be easy to solve, no ways is this regime going to get them outvoted, they already preparing soft soaping speeches. The majority is bound to fall for their tricks again.

  32. The ANC is losing support and it will show in the next election they may get reduced votes but they will never lose because they own that part of the electorate that makes more than 50% of the vote. Namely rural and uneducated women and those youngsters that fail matric. Is it any wonder that a populist like Juju gets so much support. the ANC wants a low pass rate, unemployment and poverty because of the support it brings them.

  33. My experience tells me that the so-called administrators or whatever name are political appointees and therefore an extension of the looter continua.

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