Cabinet slackers: Zuma’s options

2010-05-26 00:00

ALTHOUGH there is no legal framework to reinforce performance agreements entered into between President Jacob Zuma and members of his cabinet, the president can exercise his prerogative in dealing with underperformance.

This is the view of the minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, during his address at the 12th African Renaissance conference, which is taking place in Durban.

Chabane said the performance agreement is meant to be a management tool for the president to give ministers an indication of key issues that he wants them to tackle and his expectations of their performance when they tackle them.

Chabane’s department is responsible for performance monitoring and evaluation of ministers and government officials.

The government has identified 12 expected outcomes from different departments, and their performance monitoring will be based on the achievement of those outcomes.

“For ministers who are largely concerned with one outcome (e.g basic education and health), the performance agreement is based on the high-level outputs and metrics associated with that outcome. For ministers who contribute to a number of outcomes, performance agreements are based on the agreed high-level outputs and metrics for those outcomes. For ministers whose direct contribution to the 12 outcomes is limited, performance agreements reflect key outcomes, outputs and metrics in their departments’ strategic plans,” Chabane said.

Outlining the tasks of his department, which is one of the first in Africa, Chabane said they intend to increase strategic focus of government and improve the pace and efficiency of government delivery.

“We want to ensure that limited resources are used effectively and align structures of government to strategic objectives.”

While national ministers will be accountable to the president in terms of their performance agreements, members of the executive who are signatories to a delivery agreement will be held accountable at various levels, like public accountability, political accountability and through reporting on their development plans.

The conference was opened by KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize and addressed by Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Hadebe, Home Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazane Dlamini-Zuma, and African Renaissance chairperson and Transport Minister S’busiso Ndebele.

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