SA’s sad tale of governance

2012-04-28 09:05

The flip side of the joy that came with the announcement that the controversial e-toll system would be suspended by a month was the sad indictment of how badly blurred the line is between party-state-government.

It tells a sad tale of governance that the ­announcement pertaining to e-tolls was made first by Cosatu leader Zwelinzima Vavi via Twitter and then announced by his ANC counterpart, Gwede Mantashe.

Minister of Roads and Transport S’bu ­Ndebele and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who was in court when the non-state parties announced the decision, were recipients of the news like the rest of the public when it is them who must carry the political decisions and budgets regarding this ­unpopular enterprise.

Popular as the decision to postpone e-tolls was, it is, however, concerning that the governing ­party would want to weaken the state and ­government’s influence just so that it would ­appear to be a champion of the people’s interests.

South Africa is a constitutional democracy and the Constitution vests specific ministers with ­responsibilities for affairs of the state.

It says nothing about the role of the governing party in how the state should function.

The ANC must ­desist from micromanaging government and allow for executives it has deployed to execute decisions that their office enjoins them to. If it has no faith in such executives, it knows what to do.

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