Ramaphosa has turned his back on South Africa’s citizens – IRR

5 May 2021 - President Cyril Ramaphosa’s defence of the ANC government’s cadre deployment policy – which has hollowed out public institutions and left millions of South Africans at the mercy of corruption, mismanagement and ineptitude – demonstrates his loyalty to party cadres at the expense of ordinary citizens.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s defence of the ANC government’s cadre deployment policy – which has hollowed out public institutions and left millions of South Africans at the mercy of corruption, mismanagement and ineptitude – demonstrates his loyalty to party cadres at the expense of ordinary citizens.

It is obvious from his testimony at the Zondo Commission that South Africa will continue to be subjected, as a matter of policy, to a process of senior civil service and parastatal appointments that is arguably the primary obstacle to rooting out malfeasance and ineptitude at all levels of government.

Ramaphosa’s loyalty to party cadres comes at a high cost to citizens.

As IRR CEO Frans Cronje has pointed out, Ramaphosa was presented with an opportunity to place the blame for state capture on the deployment committee. Yet, despite astonishing government corruption and ineptitude, and counterproductive policies, the president and his administration “failed to take an easy off-ramp towards reform”.

On the very day of the president’s appearance at the Zondo Commission, the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) paid yet another visit to the Union Buildings to ask when we could expect the reply to our memorandum to the Presidency on citizen abuse that had been promised within 14 days. That promise was made on 3 March. To date, in spite of our promptings, the Presidency has not deigned to respond.

Ramaphosa’s comments at the Zondo Commission illuminate this disregard: Ramaphosa is not truly committed to reform or the plight of the ordinary citizen. His comments show that his loyalties lie with the cadre – while the average citizen is abandoned to the abuses of a system predicated upon the whims of the powerful.

President Ramaphosa says the right – reassuring, earnest-sounding – things, acknowledging, for instance, that “(our) electoral support is going down largely because of the corrosive corruption that our people saw as abhorrent. Things went horribly wrong but we are here to work with everybody to correct those, and we do this with humility because we are a feature of the superstructure of this country, we cannot run away from all these matters.”

But when it came to addressing what the crucial flaws are, and how they will be addressed, Ramaphosa ducked the questions at the Zondo Commission.

While he dwelled at length on claiming that the party was going through a process of renewal that would put an end to corruption, he remained reluctant to elaborate on how the party intended to change course, and dismissed as rash former minister Barbara Hogan’s suggestion that the ANC do away with its deployment committee as a safeguard against state capture.

The president’s woefully inadequate performance at the commission confirms the IRR’s conviction that it is up to citizens, and the civil society organisations that have the backbone to support them, to speak up against citizen abuse and compel policy-makers to heed the mounting resistance to their disregard of South Africa’s real national interest, which is the freedom and well-being of its citizens.


Read the IRR’s memorandum at https://irr.org.za/campaigns/stop-citizen-abuse, and join the campaign to #StopCitizenAbuse. For more analysis on the topic, read https://dailyfriend.co.za/2021/03/08/time-to-stop-citizenabuse/

 

Media contacts: Gabriel Crouse, IRR writer and analyst – 082 510 0360; gabriel@irr.org.za
Amy-Claire Morton, IRR Content Producer – 084 867 1141; amy-claire@irr.org.za
Media enquiries: Michael Morris – 066 302 1968; michael@irr.org.za
Kelebogile Leepile – 079 051 0073; kelebogile@irr.org.za

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