Delivery is never a political weapon

2012-01-21 11:25

Once again ordinary people find themselves to be collateral damage in the ANC’s internal strife. Service delivery has become the weapon of choice in the war that followed when Cabinet decided to place five Limpopo ­departments under national government control. For example, hospital patients have gone hungry because service providers feared not being paid.

The evidence before the public suggests that the action is warranted. Even the Limpopo ­government, which is R2 billion in the red, must admit that they’re broke even though they do not like central government’s decision.

But elsewhere in this newspaper we show ­evidence of how badly other departments outside Limpopo have managed their budgets.

For example, the Auditor-General reported that the Northern Cape’s health department had lost 43% of its budget – R1.1 billion of R2.7 billion in either unauthorised, irregular or fruitless expenditure. Yet there has been hardly a murmur from central government. Central government should not only act when a provincial government is unable to pay its creditors or its workers.

Although there have been interventions in departments in the Eastern Cape, Free State and Gauteng, the silence of central government on culprits across the board lends credence to claims by some in the Limpopo government and ANC that the Limpopo takeover was factional.

Dragging seven ministers out of a Cabinet ­lekgotla to address a hastily arranged media ­conference suggests there was more to the action than met the eye. It smacked of the Thabo Mbeki-era where even appropriate action against wrong-doers was reserved for opponents of those in charge of the state machinery.

The timing of the central government’s decision – which came last month just before an ANC provincial elective conference – caused the Limpopo government to earn undeserved sympathy, even though they were unable to pay service providers and doctors, teachers and other civil servants.

By correctly targeting Limpopo but leaving out equally wasteful provinces, the central government has added to suspicions that once again, state machinery is being used in ANC battles.

Still the full might of the law must be visited upon those who use service delivery as a political battleground.

The crisis in Limpopo should show political leaders and technocrats that they really need to care about the people they have up to now only used as fodder in their sectarian battles.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.