Committed to clean governance

2010-09-07 00:00

YESTERDAY The Witness reported extensively about resolutions adopted by the Provincial Governing Council (PGC) of the ANC and the proposal that suggests that salary increases for higher earners in the government be temporarily frozen and a sliding scale be used to determine annual increments that will narrow the gap. I have also noted the constructive criticism that was raised by Nalini Naidoo in her opinion piece which focused on the public sector strike.

Indeed, these issues came under the spotlight during the PGC with all structures of the ANC, such as the ANC Youth League, the Women’s League, the Umkhonto we Sizwe Veterans Association (MKVA), and Tripartite Alliance partners the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party finally agreeing that efforts must be directed towards ensuring that the people of this province are never subjected to this painful experience again.

It was also proposed that a different bargaining process and multiyear agreement is needed which considers pay hikes in line with the performance of the economy covering all those who receive their salaries from the public purse. Thereafter all leaders and people will understand that there is justice if there is one yardstick for affordability.

The robust debate and the unity which prevailed during the PGC indicate that relations within the KwaZulu-Natal alliance are good. They are characterised by frankness in dealing with issues and respecting the autonomy of each component, and co-operation on joint programmes. The reconfiguration of the alliance structures — providing for the regular and structured meetings as the Alliance Secretariat, Alliance Political Council and the Provincial Alliance Summit — has ensured that there are adequate platforms on which to thrash out issues.

We have used these platforms to emphasise the enduring need for this revolutionary alliance. We further indicated the need for respect for the independence of and distinct role played by each component, making it both impossible and undesirable for one component to attempt to replace the other. It has been made clear to all members that individual members, for various reasons, may be in conflict, but they must never be allowed to use the names of the alliance partners to fight personal battles.

Many matters of governance have been processed through the alliance. For instance, there has been good co-operation between the ANC and its alliance in the formation of the provincial government and the legislature. We must thank all the leaders of the ANC and the alliance for the support that they have given to the deployees in the government.

The issue of fraud and corruption received extensive attention throughout the PGC. Informing the debate was our commitment in Polokwane that the ANC would intensify the fight against crime and corruption.

We confirm that the ANC, at both national and provincial levels, has kept its focus strongly on this revolution. During this term of office, a strong message was sent to the government to fight efficiently against corruption, fraud and abuse of resources of the state. The provincial government has established a fraud and corruption forum that co-ordinates the activities of all associated agencies and departments to expedite the processing of the investigations.

A number of investigations are being conducted in various departments where there is evidence to suggest wrongdoing, and there is coordination between national and provincial departmental efforts leading to internal discipline and arrests of those suspected of committing crimes. The latest activities by the the Special Investigating Unit and the Hawks, during which senior government officials were arrested and charged, bear testimony to this commitment. This sent a strong message of our determination to fight fraud and corruption.

It is always important to emphasise the stand of the ANC against corruption. The information about investigations that get published in the media are as a result of the ANC making an effort to expose and eradicate corruption.

• Dr Zweli Mkhize is provincial chairperson of the ANC NEC and chair of the subcommittee on health and education.

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