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The Shame of the ANC, Part 1

15 February 2013, 09:00

I blame the ANC for the rape and murder of Anene Booysen and countless other South Africans. The ANC, through its internal policies, its culture, and the incompetence it deploys at all levels of government, has created the climate in which this abuse goes unchecked.

It got me thinking about the many and varied ills of the ANC, and the national government it has provided to us, over the last 19 years. Since I like working against a framework, I started with the list of National Government Departments, as provided at http://www.info.gov.za/aboutgovt/dept.htm, choosing the most significant ones.

This sort of analysis is quite apt, given Mr Zuma will be presenting the Sad State of the Nation tonight.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – the pillaging of our territorial waters carries on unabated; the land question goes unanswered, and where farms have been transferred to black owners, many such initiatives have failed dismally. Let us not forget the pillock of a Minister, who even promised striking farm workers that she would have charges against them dropped.

Arts and Culture – a sad indictment of our government is that the arts in SA are funded either by private enterprise, the Lotto, or combinations of these. There simply is no, none, zero, sustainable backing of creative enterprise by the state.

Basic Education – Limpopo textbooks (and, sidebar, can you believe it, the responsible imbecile MEC in Limpopo, Dickson Masemola, has been touted as a replacement for Cassel Mathale?), Angie refusing to resign, Rivonia Primary, schooling under trees, 30% pass marks, etc etc. The list goes on. One of the blackest marks against the ANC. Have they forgotten how much they valued education? Each one, teach one? Remember that, guys?

Communications – the SABC, bailed out again. Do they even have a board at the moment? Do they have a CEO? Digital TV delayed by years. Sentech is broke. Did the Minister really dish out a multi-million rand tender to her partner, for a conference?

Co-operative Governance (effectively, this is national oversight over lower level jurisdictions, being provinces and municipalities) – service delivery protests almost every day. Bankrupt local authorities. Bailouts. Placing Limpopo under administration. Lack of any sort of competence at local level. Heck, the ANC even gave away the mayorship of one of the councils they held, because they couldn’t stave off the vote of no confidence!

Correctional Services – Ananias Mathe. Escapes from C-Max. Escapes in general. Inmates dying at the hands of their jailers. Officials deleting journalists’ footage. Directors General and other senior officials suspended on full pay for months or years. Schabir Shaik and Jackie Selebi, supposedly at death’s door, paroled by the DCS, now in fine form, playing golf and taking tea at Brooklyn. Ah, that’s the reward for a loyal cadre, even when busted.

Food for thought: one of the reasons given for not extraditing Shrien Dewani to South Africa to stand trial, is the parlous state of our prisons.

Defence – the cesspit we call the Arms Deal. Soldiers going on strike. Wait, what, going on strike? Soldiers threatening the Executive. Wait, what, isn’t that sedition?

Economic Development – one of our major trading partners enjoys growth of 8% pa. We can barely manage 3%. We are an embarrassment to our BRICS pals.

Energy – ho ho ho, Eskom. Blackouts. Delayed capital expenditure on new plant. The lack of private entrants into the market. Medupi… did you know that the Medupi site has been closed for a month, due to strike action? It is expected to remain shut until 4 March. No doubt Eskom will then expect contractors to recover the lost time by the working of miracles, and without compensation. It is the Eskom way.

Environmental Affairs – every Rhino killed is a failure by the ANC. Every turd floating down the Vaal River is a failure by the ANC. Every litre of toxic effluent pumped into a stream by a factory is a failure by the ANC. Must I carry on?

Government Communications - think Jimmy Manyi. The spin around Madiba’s hospital stay in December. Mac Maharaj the crook. Every time I see a taxi with a ‘100% Spin’ sticker on the back, I think about GCIS. Enough said.

Health – ok, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is really trying, and is genuinely a good bloke. The fact remains though, that his predecessors are responsible for the deaths of thousands of South Africans, due to their belligerent intransigence in implementing effective anti-HIV/AIDS policies and processes. Today, at provincial level, health is a mess. In Gauteng, suppliers are owed millions. In some provinces, notably the Eastern Cape, health is completely broken down. South African state hospitals used to be world-renowned. People went there for amazing care and revolutionary treatment (c.f. a bloke called Dr Chris Barnard and Groote Schuur). Today, South African state hospitals are places people go to, to die. Don’t get me started on the, erm, alternative uses of state ambulances. Another of the big black marks against the ANC.

Higher Education and Training – our apprentice system collapsed years ago. Why? Because everyone wanted to be an engineer and a technician, nobody cared for being an artisan. FET is making a comeback, but is it enough? The way I see it, our tertiary institutions are simply not producing sufficient skilled youngsters for our country’s needs. This is not helped by the fact that we haven’t built a new university or technikon in years. And don’t get me started on quotas. Why born-frees of all races need to compete on the basis of skin colour, for spots in places of learning, is a slight against the Freedom Charter.

Home Affairs – again, credit where it is due, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has done a good job in sorting out the department, in terms of its processes. Getting all sorts of documents out of HA is relatively painless these days. However, this department is responsible for the influx of foreigners that has placed pressure on so many other aspects of our society. I am not advocating a complete shutdown of our borders and/or rank xenophobia, but the fact remains that we indiscriminately allowed literally millions of illegal aliens to enter the country and to stick around, and we sit with the problem now. We must also remember that if you wanted a crooked civil servant, the best place to find one was Home Affairs. Let us hope that these zama-zama guys don’t make a comeback.

Human Settlements – every shack in an informal settlement is an ANC failure. Every poorly built, rickety RDP house is an ANC failure. Every grubby R10 note that changes hands to vary the housing list is an ANC failure. Every piece of state land 'sold' to a shack dweller is an ANC failure. This is the ANC’s biggest shame.

On a slightly related note, did anyone notice that Humphrey Mmemezi, the former Housing MEC in Gauteng, effectively fired for buying art from McDonalds, and forever crashing his official cars, is back in the bosom of the ANC? Yep, our Humphrey has made it onto the NEC! Where will he appear next?

International Relations and Co-operation – aka Foreign Affairs. This is a Jekyll and Hyde department. On one hand, we enjoy good relations with the west and the UN, where we have been commended four our stints on the Security Council. Then at other times we punt our friendships with rogue nations and personae… Zimbabwe, Gaddafi, Palestine, China, Cuba. And let us not forget the Minister’s tantrum in Europe when asked to have her handbag examined. How embarrassing.

 To be continued...

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