Fired min­is­ters’ hits and misses

Where Sexwale, Pule and Baloyi failed and where they suc­ceeded

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - BIANCA CAPAZORIO

WHEN Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma an­nounced that he had fired three mem­bers of his cabi­net this week, he didn’t elab­o­rate on why. We ex­am­ine their hits and misses. TOKYO SEXWALE – Min­is­ter of Hu­man Set­tle­ments: Min­is­ter since: 2009 Prob­lems in­her­ited: His pre­de­ces­sor, Lindiwe Sisulu, launched the N2 Gate­way pro­ject, which she termed the “big­gest hous­ing pro­ject ever un­der­taken by any govern­ment”, in 2005. It be­came Sexwale’s re­spon­si­bil­ity. Still in­com­plete af­ter eight years, it will now be passed on to new Hu­man Set­tle­ments Min­is­ter Con­nie Septem­ber. Fail­ures: Sexwale has pre­vi­ously termed his port­fo­lio a “daunt­ing chal­lenge”, with a hous­ing back­log of more than 2 mil­lion units, af­fect­ing about 8 mil­lion peo­ple. With a 2030 dead­line to re­move the back­log, the depart­ment had to pro­vide 200 000 houses a year, a tar­get it could not meet. Sexwale ad­mit­ted that the bill to fix the prob­lems was R50 bil­lion – nearly twice his an­nual bud­get.

San­i­ta­tion has proved to be a ma­jor po­lit­i­cal point scorer ahead of next year’s elec­tion, and Sexwale ear­lier this year ad­mit­ted that his depart­ment, with a san­i­ta­tion back­log of more than 2 mil­lion house­holds, was un­likely to meet the De­cem­ber 2014 dead­line to erad­i­cate the bucket sys­tem. He at­trib­uted this to poor per­for­mance by mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, and grow­ing num­bers of mi­grant work­ers. Suc­cesses: Sexwale set the Spe­cial In­ves­ti­gat­ing Unit to work in his port­fo­lio in a bid to clean up fraud and cor­rup­tion, both within the depart­ment and among con­trac­tors. Fol­low­ing ma­jor prob­lems in the Es­tate Agency Af­fairs Board, high­lighted by charges of theft brought against es­tate agent Wendy Machanik, Sexwale placed the board un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cape Town at­tor­ney Taswell Pa­pier, un­der whom a new board has been elected to right the ship.

What he’ll be re­mem­bered for:

His po­lit­i­cal as­pi­ra­tions or his messy di­vorce. DINA PULE – Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions: Min­is­ter since: 2011 Prob­lems in­her­ited: Pule was the sev­enth com­mu­ni­ca­tions min­is­ter since 1994, so she in­her­ited a depart­ment with lit­tle lead­er­ship. It was also the worstspend­ing depart­ment in 2010/11, be­ing the only one to ever spend less than 80 per­cent of its bud­get, with ex­pen­di­ture of just 66.8 per­cent that year.

Pule has re­peat­edly made head­lines for all the wrong rea­sons. She was ac­cused of abus­ing the bud­get for an ICT Ind­aba in Cape Town, and it was claimed that she al­lowed her boyfriend, Phosane Mn­qibisa, to make ap­point­ments to the boards of the SABC, the Post Of­fice and other state-owned en­ter­prises. She held a pub­lic press con­fer­ence to dis­credit the Sun­day Times.

New min­is­ter Yunus Car­rim has al­ready iden­ti­fied the sham­bolic SABC as one of his pri­mary tar­gets, while the Post Of­fice, al­ready plagued by rev­enue prob­lems, was hit with a two-month strike this year.

In her bud­get speech, Pule said the depart­ment had opened 50 new post of­fices in the pre­vi­ous year, many in ru­ral ar­eas, mak­ing ac­cess to so­cial grants eas­ier. The ICT sec­tor has cre­ated 37 000 jobs since 2010.

What she’ll be re­mem­bered for:

Her red- soled Chris­tian Louboutin shoes, which she was al­leged to have bought with the ICT Ind­aba funds. RICHARD BALOYI – Min­is­ter of Co-op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs: Min­is­ter since: 2011 Prob­lems in­her­ited: Baloyi’s pre­de­ces­sor, Sicelo Shiceka, launched Op­er­a­tion Clean Au­dit, meant to as­sure clean au­dits by 2014. Baloyi in­her­ited a sham­bolic mu­nic­i­pal fi­nance sys­tem, and was tasked with en­sur­ing mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties got clean au­dits. Fail­ures: Au­dit out­comes for national and provin­cial de­part­ments have re­gressed over the past three years, while just 5 per­cent of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties got clean au­dit re­sults in July last year.

The con­tro­ver­sial Tra­di­tional Courts Bill was crit­i­cised by rights groups who called it un­con­sti­tu­tional.

Com­mu­ni­ties in Sasolburg ri­oted in Jan­uary, leav­ing sev­eral dead or in­jured, in re­sponse to plans to merge their mu­nic­i­pal­ity with the Ng­wathe mu­nic­i­pal­ity. Ri­ots stopped when Baloyi can­celled the merge. Suc­cesses: Baloyi said in his May bud­get speech that the Com­mis­sion on Dis­putes and Claims for Tra­di­tional Lead­er­ship had con­cluded 85 per­cent of its 1 244 out­stand­ing cases from the pre­vi­ous year. A team was es­tab­lished to fi­nalise is­sues around tra­di­tional lead­ers’ salaries. While Sexwale blamed the san­i­ta­tion back­log on mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, Baloyi claimed a 3 per­cent re­duc­tion in un­ven­ti­lated pit toi­lets be­tween 2001 and 2011.

What he’ll be re­mem­bered for:

R360 000 spent on car rental while he was min­is­ter of pub­lic ser­vice and ad­min­is­tra­tion.

CON­TRO­VER­SIAL: Richard Baloyi

SPENDER: Dina Pule

DAUNTED: Tokyo Sexwale

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