President Zuma to RSA Citizens: Pick a finger

2015-10-10 15:43

"If you don't invest in the ANC, your business is in danger"-  President Zuma is reported to have said at the ANC's Progressive Business Forum dinner. In other words, you don't get tenders if you don't "invest" in the ANC. A donation to the ANC is a "wise" move because well... State contracts up for grabs with all  the infrastructure development projects. He may not have said 'a donation to the ANC will secure you a government contract' but you and I know that is exactly what he meant.

The major problem here is that Zuma is effectively selling State contracts to any willing buyer even though  217 (1) of the constitution requires that "when an organ of state in the national, provincial or local sphere of government, or any other institution identified in national legislation, contracts for goods or services, it must do so in accordance with a system which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective".

We have seen many instances where State contracts were awarded unlawfully but Zuma does not seem to care. As long as the party gets that investment and the investor gets their contract, screw the law! What constitution?

President Zuma lives in house where all our public finance management laws were violated. It is nice and comfortable so he cannot be expected to understand the effects of what he is advocating for. It is not so comfortable for ordinary citizens though. If you must wake up early to compete with donkeys for clean drinking water, sick person being turned away from a hospital because there is no medicine, or you have to sweep water out of your flooded shack every winter. That is the difference between those who benefit from corrupt practices and those who suffer as a result of them.

It is at his very own house where public funds meant to improve the lives of the poor were diverted to the Nkandla project for his benefit. And there are many examples where laws are ignored when awarding government tenders. You only need to read Auditor General reports for this. Start at Local Government where the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs referred to the thieving politicians as "extracting elites". Looting public money with no care of what impact that has on the lives of the poor.

When the Commander in Chief/Commanding thief makes such statements, he effectively tells the thieving lot in many troubled municipalities and provinces that it is okay to enrich yourselves at the expense of the poor as long those businesses who get government tenders "invest" in the ANC. He did refer to those who do business with the state.

Come election time, the "extracting elites" become Mother Teresa kissing babies and handing out food parcels to the poorest of the poor whose living conditions have seemingly become the best way to get rich while pretending to care for them . You only need to read about Madibeng Municipality where local businesses, politicians, administrators worked together in their looting mission.

The results were water shortages which made sure that the businesses prosper as their trucks were hired to transport water to residence. When the media reported this, the ANC had to put together a task team. So loot comrades, just make sure that the media does not catch you or Luthuli House will be compelled to act when it is convenient for the NEC.

Residents complained that the trucks, procured unlawfully, were not even providing water as expected, and the administrators and politicians could not be bothered as long as the tender went to the "right" person. Whether or not they provide the service is not their business as their only interest is to loot. Reminds me of the tender to build toilets worth over half a billion rand where the first few toilets collapsed in the Eastern Cape (thank you Daily Dispatch for the story). The toilets were not even flushing toilets.

Dig a hole and build a shelter, collect money and move on to the next tender.  A task team that comprised of the late Prof Kader Asmal, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and others  in 1996 concluded that such toilets are a health hazard but we are still building them in 2015 because the comrades shall eat. You build those toilets today, tomorrow you may get another lucrative government contract to replace them with proper toilets.

We have had the same or similar experiences in the Cape when the ANC was in power almost 10 years ago. Tenders awarded unlawfully, the company awarded the tender not delivering quality services (roads paid for twice because they could not get them right the first time around, so a new contractor, one that can actually get the job done, must be appointed). No consequences but voters finally sanctioned that behaviour and the new administration in Cape Town has been able to account for public money each year since then.

Perhaps voters in the North West, Eastern Cape, and other areas where there is rampant looting of public money need to do what voters in Cape Town did. See this is why Zuma has no shame in publicly selling tenders to the highest bidder. Because he does not believe that voters will vote the ANC out in next years local government elections so the looting project continues.

Then you hear the same President talking about fighting corruption. Laughable but not funny because the longer the thieves remain in  public office, the more desperate the situation becomes for the poor who depend on the State for their basic needs. President Zuma advocating for more looting shows just how little he cares for the poor, all that seems to matter to him is remaining in office and staying out of jail.

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