Cyril vows to end practice of hiring poorly qualified people through patronage

Image credit: Twitter/The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said his administration is committed to ending the culture of “parachuting” poorly qualified people into positions of authority through political patronage.

In his weekly newsletter to the nation on Monday, Ramaphosa signalled that this will be part of building a capable state, a key priority of his administration.

He wrote, “A capable state starts with the people who work in it. Officials and managers must possess the right financial and technical skills and other expertise.”

‘There should be consequences’

The President continued, “We are committed to end the practice of poorly qualified individuals being parachuted into positions of authority through political patronage. There should be consequences for all those in the public service who do not do their work.”

Former President Jacob Zuma’s administration was widely perceived to have thrived on African National Congress (ANC) patronage networks at national, provincial and local government levels.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has repeatedly stated that this led to the deployment of “cadres” into government and state-owned enterprise (SOE) positions, sometimes without due regard to qualifications.

Ramaphosa said the National School of Government will play a greater role in “the ongoing and focused training of civil servants.”

Restoring SOEs

Ramaphosa also reiterated his determination to restoring SOEs to health by “appointing experienced and qualified boards and managers” and clarifying their mandates.

He hailed the introduction of the district-based delivery model and its vision of “One District, One Plan, One Budget, One Approach.”

The President added, “Through the proper execution of the district development model, we will be able to know which police station needs vehicles, which rural clinic has run out of medicine, which businesses are struggling to obtain water use licenses, and respond in a targeted manner.

“District-based development is the basis for growing and sustaining a competitive economy.”

The ANC Lekgotla currently being held in Pretoria will also discuss these matters, according to ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule.

The ruling party also held its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting over the weekend.

Speaking to journalists on Sunday, Magashule said during the meeting, Ramaphosa “once more emphasised the issue of building a capable state, the issue of discipline, the issue of unity.”

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