‘My job is kind of done’

2012-08-18 15:54

Carien du Plessis and Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel discuss this week’s release of the National Development Plan

How would recommendations in your report prevent problems like the non-delivery of textbooks in Limpopo, the meltdown in healthcare at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Joburg and the death of striking workers at Lonmin?
Whose responsibility is (the books)?

Departmental officials, teachers must know that ‘There aren’t books, I can’t do my job’.

Parents must know you start a school year with books.

Why didn’t school governing bodies know?

Why didn’t anyone tell the church?

Let me also be blunt and ask why the ANC, which is very strong in Limpopo, did not know what was happening in the communities it services?

You know the old adage ‘it takes a village to raise a child’?

Limpopo has a problem, it can’t raise its children.

Part of the problem in the Gauteng health department is that there was poor oversight, poor governance.

Secondly, workers, nurses and support staff are very highly unionised.

How do you convert that union spirit to front-line development workers who care and provide services?

Ensure that there is adequate supply of everything. Shoprite has branches everywhere in the country, in Africa, and they restock every day on a daily basis – the systems are available.

How do we not use these in government ­departments too?

I don’t want to judge what happened at Marikana because I don’t know the detail, but if you look at the way the report has dealt with the issue of policing, we said under apartheid the police was militarised, and then we demilitarised the police, putting nothing else in its place and there was a complete breakdown in the system.

We have raised demilitarisation because you can use force to mask the fact that you don’t have enough skills.

Ultimately, it is about shifting the culture and getting people to take responsibility for their responsibilities.

How do you know the plan will be ­implemented?
(The media can also help) to generalise the behaviour of a cultural shift, and that’s what we have to fight for.

It is not something owned by government.

A capable developmental state is actually the outcome of lots of people.

So your job is kind of done?
My job is kind of done, it is on the table.

I now have to walk around from community to community to spark it, not to outsource it.

So for you this is more a call to action than a policy document?
We’re not seeing it as a kind of monolithic report saying you will implement all these things sequentially.

I think we are saying if you want the change, these are the levers.

If you want the change, you don’t need loads of new policy documents; you need action.

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