Changes arising from Cabinet reshuffles destabilise the state – Motlanthe

2017-10-20 21:19
Former president, Kgalema Motlanthe at the launch of the Olof Palme Youth Education Initiative in Midrand on Friday. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

Former president, Kgalema Motlanthe at the launch of the Olof Palme Youth Education Initiative in Midrand on Friday. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

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Johannesburg – Former president Kgalema Motlanthe says citizens should be concerned about Cabinet reshuffles as they destabilise the state.

He was speaking at the launch of the Olof Palme Youth Education Initiative at Midrand High School, outside Johannesburg, on Friday.

The initiative is aimed at enhancing social values and international solidarity between the youth of Sweden and South Africa.

Motlanthe said it was of concern that when new ministers take up their positions after a Cabinet reshuffle, from their first day on the job they are accompanied by new senior managers.

ALSO READ: ANC veterans want NEC members out of Cabinet

"[The new minister comes with] 14 to 16 new senior managers without first going into the department and understanding the strength and institutional memory which resides in the department. You know what that means? It means that the state is being destabilised and weakened," he said.

He explained that when new people are brought into a department by an incoming minister they find themselves on a steep learning curve and in an environment with little or no institutional memory, leading to a wobbly state and a high turnover of staff at senior management level.

"It shouldn't happen that way, we should be very very very worried each time there is a reshuffle, it means the entire experienced team is set aside and a new team is brought in, because the state must always be stable," he said.

'We should never rest on our laurels'

He explained that the country's Constitution allows citizens to be active in changing the situation and for democracy to prevail.

"Once we are passive and we are not active, and we don't know and understand our rights, democracy can go terribly wrong, it can be skewed, and work for those who can afford it and never work for those who can't afford it," he said.

READ: Western Cape ANC 'youth activists' slam Cabinet reshuffle

Motlanthe spoke fondly of the close friendship between struggle stalwart Oliver Tambo and former prime minister of Sweden, Olof Palme, saying that it showed their shared values. Tambo, Motlanthe said, was instrumental in helping Palme take the stance he took on apartheid. Tambo would have turned 100 years old this year.

Palme – who was assassinated in 1986 – was one of the few leaders who spoke openly about breaking the shackles of the injustices and unfairness of apartheid. Motlanthe described him as a man who played a massive role in making the world a better place.

"Tambo regarded Palme as one of our own, as a South African, because of his influence in bringing about change in South Africa.

"His life serves as a reminder that we should never rest on our laurels, but continue to fight for a better life," said Motlanthe, encouraging students to make the work of Tambo and Palme their own.

Read more on:    kgalema motlanthe  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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