2011 Cabinet class earns bad reports
Cape Town - The Cabinet "Class of 2011" did not have a very good year, according to the DA and FF Plus opposition parties, which both rated the executive's performance for the year below 50%.
The Democratic Alliance said that while this year's Cabinet had showed signs of improvement over its predecessor, "overall, the combined Cabinet just missed an average score of a D, or 50%".
In a separate statement, the Freedom Front Plus awarded it a mark of 42%.
According to the DA's annual "report card", there is "clearly much work to be done". The report grades ministers' performance on a scale from A to F.
The party also looked at the performance of President Jacob Zuma - and gave him an F.
"President Zuma’s pre-occupation with maintaining power has diverted his attention from issues that are crippling South Africa, particularly poverty and unemployment.
"If the president is to better his performance, he needs to put personal political interests aside, and South African people first," it said.
Despite Zuma's low score, there were some "promising signs" among his Cabinet members.
Top of the class was Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, who scored an A.
"Minister Pandor’s biggest achievement has been her dedicated lobbying for South Africa to host the prestigious Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope."
The DA said that despite a heavy travelling schedule to market the SKA, Pandor had managed to be one of the most regular Cabinet attendees in the National Assembly.
"The minister’s ability to balance the demands of her department with her obligations to Parliament should be applauded."
Other high achievers included Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel; Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu; and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
However, eight ministers had received an F. These included: State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele; Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele; Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson; Rural Development Minister Gugile Nkwinti; Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel; Minister of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane; Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa; and, Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana.
Ministers were graded on their vision, attitude, attendance and organisational skills.
"It’s time for Cabinet to get back to the black board, and plot a clear way forward," the DA said.
The Freedom Front Plus released its own "annual evaluation of the ANC's performance/failures".
In a statement, FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder said the party's members "from across the country" were asked to identify important issues and award a mark to government for its handling of them.
"It appears from their evaluation that the ANC, from the view of the average FF Plus supporter, obtained a mark of 42%."
Among issues singled out were crime, corruption, Manuel's Planning Commission, administration of justice, economic affairs and language and cultural rights, he said.