Letter: Cadre deployment will ensure ongoing governance incapacity - Businesslive

21 October 2022 - Former president Kgalema Motlanthe is often a refreshing voice of reason in SA’s public debate, and his comments about the imperative of depoliticising and professionalising municipal administrations did not disappoint. (“Municipalities should be insulated from politics, says Motlanthe,” October 20).

Former president Kgalema Motlanthe is often a refreshing voice of reason in SA’s public debate, and his comments about the imperative of depoliticising and professionalising municipal administrations did not disappoint. (“Municipalities should be insulated from politics, says Motlanthe,” October 20).

SA’s municipal governance system was conceived as a critical vehicle for driving development and upliftment in people’s day-to-day lives. Clearly, it’s failed to do so, to the degree that some municipalities cannot provide the basic conditions for community life and commerce.

The damage the intrusion of party politics into the administrative machinery has done is well documented. A 2009 report by the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, The State of Local Government in SA, commented: “Evidence has been collected to dramatically illustrate how the political/administrative interface has resulted in factionalism on a scale that in some areas ... is akin to a battle over access to state resources rather than any ideological or policy differences.”

It’s important to understand that while venality and opportunism obviously contribute, what is at issue is the conscious programme of the governing party to politicise what should be impartial state institutions through “cadre deployment”. While this has been done throughout the state and public entities, municipal governments have been particularly badly undermined.

Yet despite this — and despite the unambiguous condemnation of the practice by the Zondo state capture commission on constitutional, legal and pragmatic grounds — it remains party policy. Numerous senior figures, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, have defended it, pledging only to do it better, or to ensure that the “right cadres” are so deployed.

Cadre deployment is a wholly destructive intervention, and its continuation will ensure ongoing governance incapacity. The knock-on effects will mean more squandered time, and the compounding of a range of other very weighty challenges facing our municipalities.

Motlanthe is correct about the need to insulate municipal administrations from political interference. But this will only be possible if the governing party ceases doing so.

Terence Corrigan, Institute of Race Relations

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2022-10-21-letter-cadre-deployment-will-ensure-ongoing-governance-incapacity/

© 2020 South African Institute of Race Relations
CMS Website by Juizi

Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | PAIA Manual | Accuracy Guarantee | Sponsors & Donors

m