Shape up or ship out
A NUMBER OF South Africa’s municipal bureaucrats could get the boot if no tangible improvement in governance is shown soon. President Jacob Zuma summonsed the country’s 283 mayors to a meeting in Cape Town, where he blamed them and their officials for the “deep crisis of governance” local government found itself in.
Zuma’s scathing assessment of SA’s ailing towns and cities – which addressed the issue of rampant corruption head on – included a warning that municipal politicians and bureaucrats could expect sweeping changes.
Flanked by 15 Cabinet ministers, premiers as well as directors-general, Zuma also criticised the fact many municipalities had effectively become personal cash cows for politicians and officials. “These battles for control over resources render the affected municipalities effectively dysfunctional,” said Zuma, who also questioned how financial management and co-operation between the three tiers of government could be so poor that national and provincial departments currently owed municipalities around R53m for services.
The tough talk and promise to get to grips with the problem follow the release of a hard-hitting Government report that detailed how political meddling and infighting have brought many municipalities to the brink of collapse. The report – commissioned by Minister of Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka – is a critical assessment carried out in all SA’s provinces between April and August this year. The key proposals in the report, which is expected to lay the foundation for a turnaround strategy in local government, include stripping regional and provincial ANC structures of their powers to put people in top municipal jobs. It also calls for political intervention to deal with tensions and mistrust between officials and councillors and calls for a more committed approach to firing the corrupt and incompetent.
SA Football Association president
denying plans to replace coach Joel Santana with former coach Parreira.
SA Revenue Service Commissioner
announcing plans to crack down on defaulting taxpayers, including deducting money directly from bank accounts.
ANC MP addressing shocked mourners at Kekana’s funeral after she’d been shot by police who mistook the car she was in for a hijacked one. Drug lord testifying against his former friend and police commissioner Jackie Selebi.