The following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press briefing at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where the DA’s 2017 Government Report Card was presented.
Today we are here outside the Union Buildings – the seat of national government – to present the DA’s 2017 Government Report Card, an appraisal of the ANC national government’s performance over the past year.
2017 will go down in history as one of the most disconcerting years in our young democracy, as the ANC-led national government stooped to new lows in their abuse of power, excessive looting, and shameless execution of state capture without a hint of restraint. With ever-increasing unemployment, half of South Africans living in poverty, a social grants crisis, a 12th cabinet reshuffle, the horrifying Esidimeni tragedy, and the downgrading of our economy to “junk status”, the ANC has collapsed our country and its economy.
This was compounded by the emergence of the now infamous “Gupta Leaks”, providing solid evidence of the ANC’s mafia shadow state, created to serve their interests, and to accumulate huge amounts of wealth for themselves. The promise of true freedom is undermined by the ANC at every juncture, and if there was any doubt that the ANC was unfit to lead our country, 2017 showed us that.
Despite this grim picture of our nation, there is still hope. The ANC has approximately 18 months left in office before the 2019 elections. Our nation desperately needs a new beginning and that new beginning will come in 2019, when the voters of South Africa reject the ANC at the polls and elect a DA-led coalition government.
The ANC cannot self-correct, and is past the point of no return. The solution to our shared future lies in a new coalition government that will serve the people and create opportunity for all. Our new beginning lies in a post-ANC country.
However, until then, the DA as the Official Opposition in Parliament has a Constitutional duty to hold the Executive to account and to provide oversight – which includes ongoing assessment of its performance or the lack thereof. This is required by Section 92(2) of the Constitution which states that “Members of Cabinet are accountable collectively and individually to Parliament for the exercise of their powers and the performance of their functions.”
Our Government Report Card serves this function by providing a critical overview of the performance of the President, Deputy President, and all 35 Ministers and their respective departments. This is done using the following criteria:
- The mandate of the ministry or department;
- Its performance over the past 12 months;
- The DA’s response to its performance.
On the basis of this assessment, the President, Deputy President, and each Cabinet Minister and their department are scored on a scale for “A” to “F”. An “A” is the highest score achievable, with an “F” being the lowest.
This year the scores are as follows:
President: Jacob Zuma (F)
After the ANC suﬀered the loss of three metros in 2016, a result that followed the President’s sustained assault on the country’s democratic institutions, one would imagine that 2017 would be a year of introspection and self-correction for Jacob Zuma. But, the opposite was true.
Jacob Zuma upped the ante on his “State Capture” Project, relentlessly pursuing riches for himself and his inner circle at SA’s expense. The emergence of the “Gupta Leaks” provided another headache – adding to his endless court battles to keep himself out of jail, and his plan to ensure Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma succeeds him as President of the ANC.
After a decade of wasting public funds on his legal battles, he conceded that the NPA’s decision to drop 783 counts of fraud and corruption charges against him was “irrational”. He must now face these charges.
The President survived his eighth Motion of No Confidence in Parliament following his decision to fire Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan – thanks to the loyal support of the ANC. Even with the protection of a secret ballot, the ANC consciously and deliberately chose Jacob Zuma over the country, showing us their true colours.
Undoubtedly, the President’s greatest failure this year has been the crushing of our economy, culminating in a technical recession and a sovereign credit rating downgrade to “junk status”. Under Zuma’s ANC, 9.4 million South Africans are unemployed, 52% live in poverty, and 17 million rely on inadequate social grants for survival.
President Zuma has failed dismally, and as such scores an “F”, the lowest possible grade.
If 2017 showed us one thing, it is that in the eyes of the ANC, Jacob Zuma can do no wrong. The party will support him through thick and thin, ignoring constitutional violations, theft, and country-wide State Capture. Because Jacob Zuma and the ANC are the same – neither of which are fit for office.
Deputy President: Cyril Ramaphosa (E)
Since becoming Jacob Zuma’s “number 2” in 2014, Cyril Ramaphosa has been at best a silent Deputy President, and at worst a complicit one. Instead of fighting corruption and State Capture, Ramaphosa spent most of 2017 on the campaign trail in his bid to be elected President of the ANC – showing that he cares only for his own fortunes, and not SA’s.
Even after the emergence of the “Gupta Leaks”, Ramaphosa took not a single step or action against any government corruption whatsoever. It has been all talk and no action. Even after he received the DA’s petition, signed by over one million South Africans, calling for Zuma to be voted out in the August 2017 Motion of No Confidence – he remained silent and kept Zuma in power.
State Owned Entities (SOEs) have emerged as hotbeds of capture and corruption, as Gupta and Zuma appointees ensured multibillion rand government contracts were given to their friends. As Chairperson of the Inter-ministerial Committee on State-Owned Entities, Ramaphosa has sat on his hands amid the looting.
As the Leader of Government Business, Ramaphosa failed to engage with Opposition Party Leaders in good faith. Under his watch, the Executive has been allowed to treat Parliament as its own circus. The President and his Cabinet ministers, under Ramaphosa’s guidance, have shown nothing but disdain for Parliament.
2017 also marked the fifth anniversary of the Marikana Massacre. Ramaphosa has not apologised, visited the area, or met with the widows and survivors. Despite being one of the wealthiest people in SA, he hasn’t given a cent to the victims of Marikana.
This is the mark of an uncaring, detached individual who is unfit to be Deputy President, never mind President. Ramaphosa thus scores an “E”.
Deputy President Ramaphosa has not had the courage to stand up to his keeper. He cares more about his own ambitions, and despite his empty talk on tackling corruption, he has shown he is either unwilling, or unable to take any action. The fact that Cyril Ramaphosa is paraded as the man who can “save” and “reform” the ANC shows just how far the ANC has degenerated. It cannot self-correct, and it cannot be trusted with the future of our nation.
The ANC is dead, and Ramaphosa helped to kill it.
Social Development: Bathabile Dlamini (F)
- Minister Dlamini has overseen a crisis that has threatened the livelihood of almost 17 million of the poorest South Africans;
- SASSA failed to terminate its unlawful contract with CPS/Net1 by 1 April 2017, as required by the Constitutional Court.
- Dlamini appears to be deliberately stiﬂing progress in acquiring a new service provider, and this resulted in the department losing a Director-General (DG) and SASSA losing a CEO.
- A commission of inquiry has been ordered to determine the Minister Dlamini’s role in the crisis. The commission is set to begin on the 22 January 2018.
- SASSA obtained a mere 46% of its KPIs this year.
- The department needs to review social grants in line with the poverty levels as children need to have proper nutrition at as early an age as possible. In order to prevent stunting due to malnutrition, every eﬀort must be made to ensure proper nutrition by strengthening the social security system.
- We maintain that a hybrid system of delivery is not only viable, but in the best interests of all stakeholders. Only the Minister and her associates stand to gain from the ongoing chaos.
Public Enterprises: Lynne Brown (F)
- Minister Brown is a captured, ineffective and silent Minister, who is responsible for the appointment of board members at key state-owned entities Denel, Transnet, Alexkor, SA Express, Eskom and Safcol.
- Through these boards, SOEs have been deeply embroiled in state capture, with the alleged looting of billions of rands through corrupt procurement and consulting tenders reliably linked to the Gupta-Zuma nexus.
- The former Eskom Chairperson has stated unequivocally in Parliament’s Eskom enquiry that Brown has an association with the Guptas, and had a hand in manipulating the Board on instructions from the President himself.
- The DA has publicly condemned Minister Brown and reported her to the Public Protector and Parliamentary Ethics Committee for investigation. Minister Brown is captured and must be removed at once.
Mineral Resources: Mosebenzi Zwane (F)
- Minister Zwane is a well-known Gupta-stooge, having proved his worth to the captured through the Vrede Dairy Farm project, while still Free State MEC of Agriculture. Under his watch, all departmental decisions have been geared toward capturing resources – at the expense of workers and companies.
- The mining sector is in turmoil, following the gazetting of a new Mining Charter this year – an attempt to secure the interests of ANC cronies. This cost the industry R50 billion, and will be subject to judicial review later this month.
- The new Mining Charter must be scrapped without delay, and a proper consultative process must take place to develop guidelines that will benefit all who participate in the industry – rather than just those with close connections to the ruling party. Share schemes for miners need to genuinely empower workers and be economically viable.
- The department must rid itself of Minister Zwane and his cadres if it is to be seen as a source of support and growth for the industry. Investors will never be attracted when state corruption is rife and the determining factor for decision-making is the exploitation of resources for a connected few.
Energy: David Mahlobo (F)
- This department has been plagued by failings around the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), PetroSA, renewable energy and the nuclear deal with the merry-go-round of ministers having little leadership input.
- There have been three ministers over the past year, all of which mandated with one goal: force through the nuclear deal, as soon as possible.
- The SFF saga, under Minister Joemat-Pettersson, saw the sale of 10 million barrels of strategic fuel to private entities at knock-down prices. The sale, subject to an ongoing court case, could see billions of rands lost, with the fund having to buy back fuel at a much higher price. Despite this, Joemat-Pettersson is set to receive a R2.1 million golden handshake for her dodgy dealings.
- PetroSA posted a R1.4 billion loss for the 2016/17 financial year.
- Despite the Nuclear Deal being blocked in court, it remains an impending reality. With Kubayi and Pettersson failing to get this pushed through, Mahlobo has been parachuted in to clinch the deal.
- South Africa cannot afford – and doesn’t need – a multibillion rand nuclear deal. The DA will fight it on every front.
Basic Education: Angie Motshekga (F)
- Minister Motshekga has failed to take responsibility for the state of a school system in rapid decline. When asked about the overall state of school transport or the number of cases of teacher misconduct nationally, the department simply passes the buck to the provinces.
- Key protocols – like those formalising the vetting of teachers – remain unfinished.
- A number of provincial departments remain dysfunctional, leading to a complete failure of infrastructure delivery, irregular expenditure and staffing problems.
- The Minister is seeking to pass legislation that would give her already struggling department even more authority, reducing the role of community driven school governing bodies.
- Teachers’ unions – such as SADTU – must not have the power to endanger the health and wellbeing of learners by abandoning them during strike action. The Minister has failed to stand up to these unions, root out corruption in staff appointments, and the frequent loss of teaching time.
- The future of our nation is being undermined by this minister and her department.
Higher Education & Training: Hlengiwe Mkhize (F)
- The most urgent task of the department is to present a credible plan for the funding of higher education based on sound analysis, rather than populist rhetoric.
- The Heher Commission has now recommended a number of untenable propositions, from scrapping NSFAS in favour of private lenders to accessing pensions and unemployment funds at will. Yet the department continues to tread water – resulting in bizarre rumours of social grant cuts and VAT increases in an attempt by the President to win public support.
- The replacement of the Minister in the midst of a funding crisis serves to underscore the department’s lack of vision.
- TVET colleges remain in disarray, and not at the required standard to be a suitable alternate option for students.
- The DA has recommended a model of tiered financial support for students from different income groups, while continuing to collect fees from those who can afford it. No academically qualifying student should be denied further education due to a lack of funding.
Finance: Malusi Gigaba (E)
- The National Treasury is trending on fiscal quicksand and making little attempt to escape the dire situation. We face our worst economic climate in close on a decade, with the economy slipping into technical recession earlier this year.
- The budget deficit announced by Minister Gigaba in his MTBPS resulted in an increase in national debt of R67.9 billion to R2.3 trillion, or 54.2% of GDP and an increase in debt service costs of R900 million to R163.3 billion, in 2017/18.
- Expenditure on interest in 2020/21 alone will be more than what the Government is currently spending on health, police and social protection.
- SARS is experiencing rapid institutional decay, represented by an exodus of experienced staff and a criminal investigation into Chief Officer Makwakwa. The Tax Ombudsman’s report on SARS highlighted systemic problems, partially corroborated by the R 50.8 billion tax revenue shortfall.
- SAA has continues to be a burden on the economy. The airline is being mismanaged, operating on an average loss of R 293.8 million from the beginning of the year to July. It was unable to meet running costs and to service debt, resulting in a total of R10 billion in bailouts granted, and another R3 billion proposed in the near future.
Police: Fikile Mbalula (E)
- In more than seven months on the job, Minister Mbalula has failed to appoint a permanent Hawks Head, while his predecessor Nathi Nhleko was an active participant in a Police “civil war,” protecting an allegedly corrupt Phahlane and the irregularly appointed former Hawks Head Berning Ntlemeza from the consequences of their actions.
- While the top brass are in a state of flux, the police on the ground have become increasingly under-capacitated, under-resourced, under-trained and under-staffed. As a result, they are falling ever further behind in the war on crime.
- The latest crime statistics reveal that on average 52 South Africans are murdered and 109 raped every day, and the DA established that the SAPS execute less than 1% of domestic violence arrest warrants.
- In the 2016/17 financial year, more than a quarter of a million drug-related crimes were detected, and the political killings in KwaZulu Natal remain far from solved.
- The Hawks have also failed to make any demonstrable progress in investigating or arresting individuals linked to the capture of the South African state.
Water & Sanitation: Nomvula Mokonyane (F)
- This year has been punctuated by the department’s failure to deal with the ongoing drought, affecting most of the country. This is as a result of the failures of the department of Water and Sanitation to maintain and upgrade the water infrastructure in this country. This was further shown by the Green Drop report of 2014 which indicated that 84% of sewer plants in the country are at critical risk, high risk or medium risk – prone to leaks and wastage.
- Quite aside from having failed to get ahead of the drought, in spite of being forewarned, the Ministry is further exacerbating the harm being done by dragging its feet on the declaration of the drought in the Western Cape as a national disaster.
- Administratively, the department achieved only 28% of its infrastructure targets despite overspending its budget by R110.8 million. On top of this, they generated unpaid invoices of R1.5 billion and an overdraft of R2.2 billion, which must be accounted for in the next financial year before the new budget can even be implemented.
International Relations & Cooperation: Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (E)
- Under Minister Nkoana-Mashabane’s woeful leadership, the department has continued to undermine South Africa’s position on the continent and the globe.
- Failure to arrest the accused war criminal Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2015 precipitated an impulsive attempt to withdraw from the International Criminal Court.
- Following this debacle, then Zimbabwean First Lady, Grace Mugabe, was allowed to flee the country and escape justice amidst allegations of assault.
- There was nearly a billion rand in irregular expenditure by the department, yet almost no disciplinary action was taken against any of the officials.
- The Minister has made a habit of avoiding accountability by not appearing before the National Assembly since March 2016. Meanwhile, cadre deployment and the conduct and behaviour of our diplomatic corps is a constant source of embarrassment to the South African brand.
State Security: Bongani Bongo (E)
- Instead of protecting our country, the State Security Agency (SSA) has been used to fight factional political battles and intimidate South Africans who speak out about State Capture, thereby increasingly securitising the State.
- Minister Mahlobo dutifully contributed to the controversial axing of Finance Minister Gordhan in March with the production of his report “Operation Checkmate”.
- 2017 was punctuated by a series of suspiciously timed break-ins at key state entities that State Security claim to know little about, and show no signs of investigating.
- Minister Bongo has entered Cabinet haunted by allegations of fraud and corruption, and questions regarding his security clearance.
- Bongo utilised his position to attempt to silence the President’s detractors by laying criminal charges against the author of “The President’s Keepers,” while ignoring the very serious allegations this book makes about goings on at the SSA and the role of the Agency’s Director General, Arthur Fraser.
Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs: Des Van Rooyen (E)
- The single biggest issue that has continued to illustrate the failures of the department has been that of the municipal debt to Eskom. The total municipal overdue debt at the end of August 2017 stood at R11.245 billion.
- Shockingly, a total of three ANC provinces – the Free State, Mpumalanga, and North West – contribute a significant R8.983 billion to the total R11.245 billion.
- The chronic failure of ANC municipalities was further proved in the Auditor-General’s report for 2015/16. Across key indicators confirmed that ANC municipalities squander vast amounts of public money, with irregular spending rising by more than 50% since 2014 and R12.77 billion in unauthorised spending.
- Van Rooyen is a Gupta appointee, and until he is removed, the department will be hamstrung by external factors.
Human Settlements: Lindiwe Sisulu (D)
- The Department of Human Settlements has failed to deliver housing to poor South Africans, and as per the 2016/17 annual report, the housing development finance programme had a budget of R30.7 million with 57 targets. They spent R30.6 million but achieved only 29 of the 57 targets – a clear overspend and under-delivery.
- The backlog of title deeds currently stands at 900 000. This failure by the department condemns many South Africa to a life of uncertainly and vulnerability.
- The current housing list lacks transparency and coordination, thus making it prone to mass corruption and confusion. The Minister’s prioritisation of her presidential campaign over the delivery of houses to people in need has proved to be an expensive, and ultimately fruitless gamble.
Health: Aaron Motsoaledi (F)
- The Life Esidimeni tragedy, which claimed the lives of 143 mentally ill South Africans, remains a stain of the conscience of this department.
- Hundreds of people in KwaZulu-Natal have died due to the oncology crisis in this province. The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) found that the National and Provincial Departments of Health were guilty of infringing upon the Constitutional rights of patients.
- It was revealed that the average waiting period for a patient to be seen by an oncologist is five months, and those waiting to receive radiotherapy usually wait 8 months.
- The Minister has admitted that there are currently 38 000 vacancies in the public healthcare system, while at the same time revealing that a staggering R2.6 billion has been paid out for medical negligence claims over the past 4 years.
- This flagrant lack of management of such a crucial department is paid for in lives, as the overwhelming majority of South Africans continue to suffer at the hands of a failing public health care system.
Communications: Mmamoloko Kubayi (F)
- This department has faced major uncertainty, with three different Ministers taking the helm through the course of the year.
- While the South African Broadcasting Commission (SABC) inquiry indicated change for the better, the Public Broadcaster remains compromised and unprincipled.
- The SABC revealed this year that R597 million is still owed to creditors and that a R74.4 million loss had been recorded in the 1st
- A R3 billion bail-out had been requested from Treasury in light of this shocking mismanagement. Moreover, the department itself recorded R145 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure and R4.4 billion in irregular expenditure, hardly leading the SABC by example.
- As her first order of business, Minister Kubayi announced that she will be reviewing a High Court decision limiting her powers to appoint executives. This is cause for major concern and brings into question her commitment to good governance.
- The recommendations by the SABC inquiry are fully implemented, and those identified in corrupt activities, as well as all the people who lied under oath during the SABC inquiry must be held accountable.
Transport: Joe Maswanganyi (E)
- Rather than spending public capital on modernising trains and infrastructure, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has to pay out hundreds of millions on losses caused by a loss of income, vandalism, robberies, train causalities and injuries all of which are directly linked to a lack of security and staff on trains and at stations.
- Investigations as per the Public Protector’s “Derailed” report have stalled and PRASA faces a lack of leadership, as the Minister is yet to appoint a fulltime CEO, CFO and Board. Additionally, PRASA has failed to produce their Annual Report, which is likely to indicate huge sums of irregular expenditure and mismanagement at the entity. State Capture allegations continue to plague PRASA, where both the former and current Minister have dodged accountability.
- The Road Accident Fund (RAF) continues to bleed funds while the ill-conceived E-toll system as part of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project is bringing the South African National Road Agency (SANRAL) to its knees. The Ministry has failed to provide clarity on how the systems can remain in place despite the clear absence of sustainable funding models.
Scores for the remainder of Government Departments are as follows:
- Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries: Senzeni Zokwana (F)
- Arts & Culture: Nathi Mthethwa (F)
- Defence & Military Veterans: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (D)
- Economic Development: Ebrahim Patel (C)
- Environmental Affairs: Edna Molewa (E)
- Home Affairs: Ayanda Dlodlo (E)
- Justice & Constitutional Development: Michael Masutha (F)
- Labour: Mildred Oliphant (F)
- Presidency: Jeff Radebe (D)
- Public Service and Administration: Faith Muthambi (F)
- Public Works: Nathi Nhleko (F)
- Rural Development & Land Reform: Gugile Nkwinti (F)
- Science & Technology: Naledi Pandor (C)
- Small Business Development: Lindiwe Zulu (E)
- Sport & Recreation: Thulas Nxesi (D)
- Telecommunications and Postal Services: Siyabonga Cwele (E)
- Tourism: Tokozile Xasa (D)
- Trade & Industry: Rob Davies (E)
- Women in the Presidency: Susan Shabangu (F)
President Zuma and his ANC government do not have what it takes to create a better life for all South Africans, and move our nation forward. The ANC of Zuma continues to undermine the Rule of Law, the Constitution and the people of South Africa, with only the DA showing what a service delivery and people-orientated government looks and feels like.
The ANC has less than two years left in national government. While this will negatively affect all South Africans, there is hope. The DA will work around the clock to ensure that they held accountable and that the people of South Africa are always put ahead of the narrow political agenda of the ANC.
We will continue to model coalition governments in cities across the country, showing South Africans that there is another choice at the ballot box come 2019. We can remove the corrupt ANC and replace it with a coalition government focused on the people, not their own pockets and paycheques.
Source: Democratic Alliance