Where was I? Ah yes, let's carry one...
Justice and Constitutional Development – let’s face it, the backlog in our justice system is the epitome of ‘justice delayed is justice denied’. For whatever reason, this is something the ANC cannot get right, the administration of justice. Thankfully, we still have pretty competent judicial officials.
But this seems a good category in which to discuss the litigious nature of the ANC government. Right now, the president is in contempt of court, over the spy tapes. Government departments get taken to court all the time, and invariably they lose, because they’re inept. But do these departments ever comply with the courts? No. They’re always going back to court, to appeal this, that and the next thing. All funded by you and me, the taxpayer, more often than not at a higher cost than the actual settlement being sought.
It gets worse. Zuma’s appointment of Menzi Simelane was found to be irregular. He has yet to appoint a new head of the Special Investigations Unit. And the NPA is in a shambles. Instead of going after the crooked cop, the NPA goes after its own! On this score, I revel in the smackdowns that Ms Breytenbach’s advocate has been dishing out to the incompetent NPA.
Labour – Jimmy Manyi again! No seriously, we have an appalling unemployment rate. And yet we have the most ridiculous labour laws. It is pretty much impossible to get fired. The regulations are stifling growth, because they discourage businesses hiring people! Not to mention the CCMA, which finds for the employee in most instances, even when in a high percentage of cases, the employee was actually at fault, and deserves a jolly good kicking. Bottom line, for everyone on the street without work, thank your buddies in the ANC.
Mineral Resources – Kumba. Amplats. Marikana. Coal being exported, where Eskom is crying for long-term coal contracts at reasonable tariffs. Threats against mining licences. The shame of Aurora, Khulubuse Zuma the Obese, and Zondwa Mandela the Crooked. Mining should be our pride. It used to be our biggest contributor to economic output. It’s in a right mess now.
National Treasury and SARS - South Africa has a trillion rand fiscus. SARS is incredibly effective at collecting taxes. We have growth. Our deficit is a tiny fraction of GDP. Our economic and financial policies are robust, cautious, and well regarded. They allowed us to skip the worst of the Global Financial Crisis. As a country, we should have more state money than we know what to do with. But regardless of the department, it’s the same old story, Eish, we have no more budget. Or, when something needs to be done, Eish, we are going to go out on tender. South Africa is tender befok. It’s not sustainable. It does nothing for skills development within the state sphere. It only serves to make a few well-connected individuals rich. It sickens me to do work at Eskom’s sites, and where I should be training Eskom employees as I go about my tasks, I am surrounded by Eskom employees, armed only with clipboards. It pains me to win a tender, only for the responsible municipal employee to demand a fee of R70,000 to kick off the project.
Bottom line… if I managed my money the way the state does, my bank manager would be contacting me quite regularly.
Public Enterprises – the ability of this department and its vassals to squander wealth is unparalleled. Telkom. Eskom. SAA. ACSA. Sentech. The New Age. Bailout central. Dysfunctional boards of directors. Acting CEOs. Acting Chairmen. Loss after loss after loss. Qualified audits for Africa. Enough is enough.
PS: The New Age is not a state-owned entity, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it was. ;)
Public Service and Administration – another blight. South Africa’s civil service is bloated. It beggars belief to visit a state department, and to see the number of functionaries sitting around doing very little. Everyone’s a manager or a director or an executive. But god forbid the state, as the employer, should step an inch out of line, and we have a full blown sodding strike again. A lot of civil servants do good work, and they take pride in what they do. All ruined by the lazy buggers on a perpetual go-slow, moaning about how they’ve been aggrieved.
And let me not start on the propensity for the average civil servant to stick their hands in the till. Either directly, thieving from you and me, or indirectly, through ill-gotten business. And if you bust them, it takes three or more years to fire them, as they go through all the appeals and similar processes. All the while sitting at home, drawing their salaries. Can anyone name a single senior state official who has resigned for their poor performance or thievery, and gone quietly? Even Dina Pule, the latest Minister caught with her hands in the cookie jar, is demanding an ambassadorship!
Public Works – Nkandla. WHICH IS THE COMPOUND OF THE ZUMA FAMILY. There, I said it, Mac. What are you going to do about it? And let us not forget Minister Nxesi… Nkandla was not paid for by the taxpayers, it was funded by the state. Pardon? In any event, it’s not only Nkandla. It’s every Minister, Premier, MEC, Mayor, Councillor, DG, every Deputy, receiving a state-owned property, and having it refurbished and furnished at a cost of millions. It’s every government department leasing and fixing up a new building. Every cent spent by this department on the crap it is so good at over-paying for, is a slap in the face of every homeless person, every kid without a text book, every state patient denied treatment in a hospital.
Rural Development and Land Reform – other than at Nkandla, there isn’t any. Period.
Science and Technology – a department that had such potential! Ninety years ago, South Africa established its own heavy industries and utilities, as a means of economic development and job creation. During the reign of the Nats, through sheer necessity, we founded Armscor and the AEB and the CSIR. Companies that did innovative stuff. We built enormous dams. We invented our own jet fighter and combat helicopter. We even designed nuclear weapons for goodness sake. Our university science and engineering departments were internationally accredited. What do we have today? Other than the SKA and related projects, very little. Our kids don’t want to study science or mathematics anymore, they’re all signing up for Maths Literacy. If Minister Pandor doesn’t sort this department out sharpish, we are doomed.
Social Development – Mbeki gave us NEPAD, the ANC at large gives us KNEEPAD. That small cushion you place your knee upon, as you bend to beg for your monthly grant. As much as one should have sympathy for those less fortunate, and provide for the poor and the elderly, nobody can convince me that our system of hand-outs is sustainable. Last I heard, the child support grant was R140 per month. And yet young girls are getting themselves knocked up, in order to receive their R140 per month. Are you kidding me? Even the old-age pension which is of the order of R1,100 per month, cannot sustain a human being in anything but abject poverty. Where the Finance Minister announces annual increases in grants every year, he should be announcing decreases. Get grant recipients off their backsides, and into gainful activities. Yes, work. And and and, it is the morons in this department who could not get around to registering all Non Profit Organisations who had sent in the necessary paperwork, so they simply blanketed all those NPOs they never got to, as ‘non-compliant’. Way to go, you useless pondscum.
Stay tuned, Part 3, the final instalment, appears soon!