Governance is collapsing in SA – Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa (GCIS)
President Cyril Ramaphosa (GCIS)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has criticised his very own government for failing to meet the expectations of citizens when it comes to governance.

The president, speaking at the launch of the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation's Inclusive Growth Conference in the Drakensburg, said it was time for South Africa "to return to work".

He said public institutions had lost credibility and trust in the eyes of those they were meant to serve.

"When hospitals run short of medicine, when housing projects remain unfinished, when schools run out of books we know that our institutions are failing our people and we want this to come to an end. That must end," said Ramaphosa to loud applause.

The president described occurrences in some provinces as "abuse of people".

Recently the entire North West government ground to a halt as residents called for then premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down. The platinum-rich province's heath department had completely collapsed, with facilities running out of medicine and workers going on strike for several months.

Governance to take centre stage at lekgotla

The entire North West government has since been placed under administration by Ramaphosa.

"We cannot be proud if a whole province's government systems are going to so collapse as to lead our people into the streets protesting about sewage just spilling into the streets; where our people protest about garbage that goes uncollected; where our people protest about houses that have not been built; where foundations have just been put up and no houses. That is abuse of our people and it must come to an end," said Ramaphosa.

"And when our government operates as though it's the federal state, rather than a unitary one where the centre should hold and determine the cause of governance, then the dream of having a capable state will evaporate," he continued.

Ramaphosa also said his leadership collective was determined to fight the challenges of governance across the public sector, at state-owned enterprises, law enforcement agencies and frontline delivery departments.

The president said governance would take centre stage at one of his government lekgotla meetings with his executive.

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