The reshuffle of the KwaZulu-Natal executive by the ANC is a reminder of the complete disregard the party has for the voters and communities it is supposed to be serving. Why was it necessary to overhaul the executive?
The ANC has not bothered to explain; it simply reshuffled because it could. Former premier Sihle Zikalala at least provided reasons for his resignation, even if they had nothing to with service to the people of the province. His version was that his stepping down was simply due to internal factional fights, ANC gossip and rumour-mongering about who loved former president Jacob Zuma the most.
It seems that the new premier came in, sacked several MECs and brought in her own, simply because an ANC conference had taken place. Was there any compelling reason to break continuity and stop the work of government until the next general elections? The answer is no.
For example, the work that Human Settlements MEC Jomo Sibiya had been doing over the past few months, rebuilding houses and other structures destroyed by floods, must now be handed over to a new MEC, who will take time to learn the ropes, then impose his own vision and hire his own staff.
A lot of the time, this also involves reviewing the work done by the previous MEC and discarding some of the projects they had been pursuing. As we have reported before, some of the new political principals even rejected the cars used by their predecessors and insisted on new ones for themselves. This is a shocking drain on the fiscus to nurse the egos of politicians.
Communities deserve better than government leaders who are too self-absorbed to look after the interests of people they are supposed to serve. As the ANC in Gauteng showed recently, it is possible to have a new provincial leadership, comprising a new chairperson, a provincial executive committee and a provincial working committee, without disrupting the work of government.