Erad­i­cate sys­tem of en­rich­ment

The Citizen (KZN) - - Opinion -

One of the harsh mea­sures Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa promised to im­ple­ment to stave off an eco­nomic catas­tro­phe was to re­duce the size of the public service. Many doubted he would fol­low through on that and, to date, he hasn’t, prob­a­bly be­cause gov­ern­ment work has been turned into shel­tered em­ploy­ment for many loyal ANC cadres.

But not all public ser­vants fall into this cat­e­gory and many be­lieve in the service part of their so­ci­etal role.

How­ever, now it ap­pears there is more of a rea­son that those al­ready em­ployed in bloated gov­ern­ment de­part­ments would re­sist any at­tempt to re­duce their num­bers.

Work­ing for gov­ern­ment is highly prof­itable. Public Works Min­is­ter Pa­tri­cia de Lille made the shock­ing claim this week that 3 700 em­ploy­ees in her depart­ment alone were do­ing busi­ness with the state.

In 2018, the depart­ment of public service and ad­min­is­tra­tion es­ti­mated that more than 2 700 public ser­vants across all de­part­ments were in­volved in busi­ness with the gov­ern­ment.

Such con­duct is il­le­gal in terms of the Public Ad­min­is­tra­tion Man­age­ment Act, which was “op­er­a­tionalised” last year, as well as the code of con­duct for the public service, which came into ef­fect in 2016.

Of­fend­ers can be fined or jailed – or both. But, so far, it ap­pears no­body has been brought to book.

It goes with­out say­ing that ef­fi­cient ser­vices can­not be de­liv­ered when the peo­ple de­liv­er­ing them have mon­e­tary in­ter­ests in those ser­vices.

The rev­e­la­tion by De Lille con­firms what many long-suf­fer­ing South Africans have be­lieved for some time … that the ANC is not so much a gov­ern­ment but a vast, many-ten­ta­cled par­a­site which is feed­ing on the blood of tax­pay­ers.

It is go­ing to be al­most im­pos­si­ble to erad­i­cate that sys­tem of en­rich­ment and pa­tron­age but, un­less some­thing is done, SA will in­evitably be­come a failed state.

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