‘Has-been’ another sorry deployment story

2010-02-20 00:00

THE practice of deployment has far more ramifications than the ANC, who are the self-proclaimed fathers of this tradition, can see. Politics, by its very nature, entails allegiances, back-stabbing, lying and conniving, among other sins. That is why I do not see the Democratic Alliance hiring Youth League president Julius Malema as a bartender, even if he qualifies with his phuza face.

Although the Zuma administration advocates the practice of deployment, President Jacob Zuma does seem to see beyond this ill-informed practice as he hired former DA leader Tony Leon as South Africa’s ambassador to Argentina, which was refreshing to see.

The practice of deployment (or the policy thereof, as this is what it effectively is) has meant that the ruling ANC hires its own “comrades” (this being the operative word) from within the party first, before it looks at other faces, however more qualified they may be. This has meant that skilled resources have been overlooked and camaraderie is the order of the day.

Where has this left service delivery? Camaraderie does not provide services to communities in need, neither does it raise your IQ so that you are able to grasp the complex issues that have to be dealt with in the high-level positions that “comrades” have been deployed into.

I agree that governments need to hire people who are trustworthy and who have an allegiance to the government, not the party, as when another party comes into power, all hell breaks loose.

What I do have a problem with is when clueless palookas are given critical positions with regard to service delivery and, even though they can see that they are in way over their heads, they agree to sink as they know they can’t swim to save their lives.

What boggles my mind is why they agree to compromise themselves in the manner that they do, knowing that they are not qualified or competent enough to fulfil the jobs they have been handed on a silver platter.

The Msunduzi Municipality is currently enjoying the fruits of deployment as the council’s financial reserves have been depleted over a two-to-three-year period. There have always been problems in the council, but not to the extent where there is only enough petrol for council vehicles to run for a week at most.

The saying goes: “Be careful what you wish for because it may come true.”

During my time as a journalist covering the council beat for The Witness, I knew that Rob Haswell wanted the city manager’s position and I thought he was qualified. Even former local government MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu thought so as he hired him as an administrator after he dissolved the Abaqulusi Municipality in November 2006. No wonder that council is still not up on its feet more than three years later. Even when the ANC does deploy its “comrades”, they overlook more qualified “comrades” within the party. I think it is time that this ill-advised practice is done away with and Haswell change his surname to “Has-been”.

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