Chairperson, Chapter 10 of our Constitution sets out the basic values and principles that should be governing our Public Service and Administration. It calls for, amongst other values and principles, a high standard of professional ethics; efficient, economic and effective use of resources; responsiveness; and accountability.
When measured against these basic values and principles, we are failing, and failing in a South African context means less achieving less than 30%. The National Development Plan, NDP, itself explicitly states that critical interventions are required to build a capable state.
In this regard, the NDP notes the following challenges: tensions in the political-administrative interface; instability of the administrative leadership; a skills deficit; the erosion of accountability and authority; poor organisational design; and low staff morale.
On Tuesday evening, on the Checkpoint programme, a shocking report was presented in respect of the water and sanitation disaster in Bloemhof that resulted in the deaths of innocent infants. Cope believes that what happened at Bloemhof is symptomatic of the rot that permeates our public administration in all spheres of our government and its entities.
Why do so many babies and mothers die of preventable and avoidable consequences? Why do sewerage systems collapse? Why do contractors fail to fix pipes?
The ANC's continued practice of crony deployment means the appointment to government jobs are more often than not made on the grounds of political allegiance rather than skills and experience. Crony politicians and cadre government employees are seldom held to account, if at all. They are also generally free to act with impunity.
Our communities are restless. They are angry about nepotism, deployment and corruption, and this is all part of the reason for the so-called service delivery protests that we are facing and which reverberate throughout our country on a daily basis. It is very nice to say let us stop the corruption.
I want to share the definition of corruption. If we go to 1841, it is:
The unfair practice by a person in power giving positions of authority and other favours to friends without regard to their qualifications ...
And it carries on:
Often the appointer is inadequate to hold his or her own job or position of authority and for this reason, the appointer appoints individuals who will not try to weaken him or her or express views contrary to those of an appointment.
Hon Minister and Deputy Minster, if we are to build a capable state, then this portfolio committee and this Ministry need to do some serious introspection. The government needs to stop deployment and cadre employment. I thank you.