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Zuma's 50 broken promises - DA

BY Site Admin
Opposition says it is time president began matching words and deeds

 

STATE OF THE NATION 2011: JACOB ZUMA'S BROKEN PROMISES, February 7 2011

Introduction

Ahead of this year's State of the Nation address, the Democratic Alliance is releasing a list of President Zuma's 50 broken promises

We have done this because the President has, in the past, made a number of commitments, in the State of the Nation address and elsewhere, that he has failed to follow through with action. Promises range from job creation to Eskom, and from corruption to mud schools. They tell a story of a President who is often more concerned with appeasing narrow interests, than acting to advance the interests of all South Africans.

We hope that the President will take heed of these serious failures to match words with deeds. Given the seriousness of the problems we face in South Africa, we cannot afford to see another year of failed promises. We believe that this year's State of the Nation address will present President Zuma with an invaluable opportunity to demonstrate to South Africans that his administration is committed to tackling the issues that really matter- service delivery, unemployment, the criminal justice system. He needs to prove that he is committed to action. The first step is by publically making himself accountable for the promises he makes.

Section 1: Jobs

1. Youth wage subsidy

Promise: "Proposals will be tabled to subsidise the cost of hiring younger workers, to encourage firms to take on inexperienced staff." (State of the Nation Address, 11 February 2010)

Reality: Despite being referred to at the beginning of 2010 by both President Zuma in his State of the Nation Address, and Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan in his budget speech, the wage subsidy proposal subsequently fell victim to internal tripartite alliance conflicts. No proposals were tabled. Minister Gordhan initially said a discussion document would be produced by March 2010, but the document was never forthcoming. Although ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe recently indicated that the policy may be back on the table, President Zuma has as yet made no firm commitment regarding its implementation.

2. Job creation

Promise: "Between now and December 2009, we plan to create about 500 000 job opportunities." (State of the Nation, 2009)

Reality: There seems to be rampant confusion regarding the nation's rate of job creation. Former Minister of Public Works Geoff Doidge, stated in December 2009 that 223 000 "work opportunities" had been created that year. However, the following January President Zuma indicated that the figure was in fact 483 000. This anomaly has never been adequately explained. Moreover, DA parliamentary questions later revealed that the Zuma administration had been double counting workers who received more than one job opportunity, and that the average length of time employed per job opportunity was just 45 days, In total, we calculated that the "job opportunities" referred to by the president equated to the creation of just 87 000 full time jobs - in a year when ten times as many jobs, 870 000 in total, were lost overall. However you do the maths, 500 000 jobs or ‘job opportunities' weren't created in 2009.

3. Job creation

Promise: "Now is the time to lay the groundwork for stronger growth going forward, and for growth that gives rise to more jobs." (State of the Nation, February 2010)

Reality: On 17 December 2010, the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill was published in the Government Gazette. This bill will make jobs more difficult to come by- primarily by making the labour market more rigid and highly regulated and by punishing workers and the unemployed by making it more difficult for businesses to expand their staff complement- thereby impeding growth.

4. Job creation

Promise: "The ANC is therefore committed to addressing the problem of unemployment through practical measures in this year. Therefore, 2011 will be the year of job creation through meaningful economic transformation." (Address delivered at the ANC's 99th birthday celebrations, January 2010)

Reality: The Employment Equity Amendment Bill, gazetted on 17 December 2010, includes a number of concerning clauses that have the potential to seriously undermine efforts to promote job creation. Firstly, the vagueness of some of the Bill's clauses, for example the provision relating to equal terms of employment for employees performing roughly equal work, hampers its ability function as effective legislation. Secondly, the bill includes clauses that escalate penalties for contravention of the Act to preposterously high levels. Thirdly, the Bill's employment equity requirements represent another example of a centralised, one-size-fits-all policy that does not take unique regional variations and demographics into account.

Section 2: Education

5. Teachers in the classroom

Promise: "We reiterate our non-negotiables. Teachers should be in school, in class, on time, teaching, with no neglect of duty and no abuse of pupils!." (State of the Nation Address, 3 Jun 2009)

Reality: The Zuma administration's poor management of labour relations lead to the eruption of a protracted public service strike in August 2010- which saw schools across the country shut in the crucial weeks prior to the matric exams. In addition, a group of regional leaders of teachers' union SADTU were found to have urged union members to disrupt schools which were not on strike- further disrupting learning. Teachers have not been "in school, in class, on time" during President Zuma's tenure, and clearly such an outcome has not been "non-negotiable" in the President's handling of SADTU.

6. Provision of workbooks

Promise: "Targets have been set for the improvements in results at various grades over time. In order to achieve this, we will be providing all schools with appropriate learner and teacher support materials such as lesson plans, workbooks and textbooks, to ensure proper coverage of the curriculum". (Statement on the July 2010 Cabinet Lekgotla, 22 July 2010)

Reality: Despite promising that basic literacy and numeracy workbooks would be delivered to schools by the beginning of the school year, two weeks into the first term of 2011, 37% of the 11.8 million workbooks had not been delivered. [i]

7. and 8. Mud Schools and Classrooms without Desks

Promise: "We will ensure that learners and teachers are in class and that learning is taking place and that schools have the facilities they need, and learners the materials they require" (Final Election Speech, Sunday 19 April 2009)

Reality: In November 2010, 22 schoolchildren were injured by the collapse of four mud classrooms at the Mrwabo Junior Secondary School in the Eastern Cape. A year and a half after this pledge, a parliamentary question revealed that 4 million South African students still do not have chairs to sit on in class, and 3 million still do not have desks. In the Eastern Cape, only 790 of 5600 schools have a desk and chair for every student.

9. Quality of maths and science schooling

Promise: "The ANC government will...[i]mprove the quality of schooling, particularly performance in mathematics, science, technology and language development." (ANC 2009 Election Manifesto)

Reality: The 2010-2011 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), published annually by the World Economic Forum, ranked the quality of South Africa's schooling as 130th out of 139 countries (with 139 being the lowest score), and the quality of its maths and science education as 137th out of 139 countries.[ii] In the 2010 matric examinations, Mathematics and Physical Science had the lowest pass rates of any subject, with pass rates of 47.4% and 47.8% respectively for those pupils who achieved a 30% pass or higher[iii]. For those students that achieved a 40% pass rate- the minimum required to gain access to university, the pass rates fell further to 30.9% and 29.7% respectively[iv].

10. School feeding schemes

Promise: "We also must pay continuous attention to improving safety in our schools, to improved transport and to adequate school nutrition schemes. Earlier this week, the Minister of Finance announced that funding for the primary school nutrition programme will be increased, to reach 8,6 million children in the year 2012/13. This is particularly important for children from poor families, and is essential to aid concentration and attendance." (National Teaching Awards Gala Dinner, October 2009)

Reality: Despite the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) being allocated more than R7.6 billion in the five financial years since 2005/06, the effectiveness of these funds has been undermined by poor financial management and irregularities in the awarding of tenders. Over R215 million has gone unused between 2005/6 and the past financial year- these funds could have fed an extra 850 209 school children over this period. 

Section 3: Health

11. Meeting women's healthcare needs

Promise: "We will work tirelessly to create a health system that promotes women's health as a fundamental human right." (Statement of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress on the occasion of the 99th Anniversary of the ANC, 8 January 2011)

Reality: The Zuma administration has thus far failed to tackle South Africa's high levels of maternal mortality. Data from the 2010 Millennium Development Goal South Africa Country Report indicates that South Africa's maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is high, and increasing.[v] According to statistics from the Department of Health[vi], 70% of all maternal deaths caused by direct factors (e.g. hypertension) are avoidable, as are 28% of those caused by indirect factors (e.g. AIDS).

12. Quality of healthcare

Promise: "In practical terms, the ANC government will... [i]mprove quality standards for both public and private sectors, which will include specific targets for the provision of adequate numbers of workers at all levels of the health care system, including recruitment, training and filling of vacant posts..." (ANC 2009 Election Manifesto)

Reality: While strides have been made in certain aspects of health care, particularly regarding tackling HIV/AIDS, the quality of South Africa's public health system continues to be regarded as one of the worst in the world- Newsweek's 2010 World's Best Countries survey ranked it as the 8th worst out of 100 countries[vii]. In terms of budget allocation, the national health care budget grew by 7.6 per cent in 2009/10 to R17.1 billion and by an average annual rate of 9.6 per cent over the MTEF period to reach R20.9 billion by 2011/12, which amounts to real growth of R5.3 billion over six years[viii]. However financial mismanagement and poor resourcing means that increases in expenditure have not translated into improvements in healthcare quality. In many cases, this can be attributed to the deployment of poorly qualified and inexperienced ANC cadres to key positions in hospital management. 

Section 4: Governance

13. Presidential hotline

Promise: "As you are aware, we introduced the Presidential Hotline to make government and The Presidency more accessible to the public, and to help unblock service-delivery blockages.." (State of the Nation Address, 11 February 2010)

Reality: In fact, the Hotline has become a striking example of the Zuma administration's failure to deliver. For a start, the Presidency seems to have no reliable data concerning the Hotline's activities. In reply to a parliamentary question in May 2010, the President stated that 674 894 calls had been made to the Hotline since it was established in September 2009. However, in a statement released a few months later to mark the Hotline's first anniversary, the Presidency claimed that 72,299 calls had been received by the Hotline during its first year. This figure is 9 times smaller than the number of calls referred to in the President's initial parliamentary reply.

14. Presidential hotline

Promise: The hotline represents our determination to do things differently in government. It has made a difference in the lives of many South Africans.." (State of the Nation Address, 11 February 2010)

Reality:According to a parliamentary reply received by the DA in May 2010, the President confirmed that 484 327 of the Hotline's674 864 received calls had been dropped, meaning that 70% of the calls made to the Hotline had never even reached an operator.

15. Review of State Owned Enterprises

Promise: "There have been problems with the SOEs all the time, particularly at SAA and Eskom. I have taken a decision which is going to solve SOE problems forever: I have ordered a review of all of them with a final decision on what to do. It is being done by outside people who have no interest." (Interview with Sunday Times, February 2010)

Reality: In response to a DA parliamentary question, the President revealed in July 2010 that a decision was yet to be made about the terms of reference of the committee established to review the country's ailing State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). In addition, details concerning the remuneration of committee members had yet to be finalized.

16. Promoting Accountability

Promise: "We are committed to a service delivery culture that will put every elected official and public servant to work for our people, and ensure accountability to our people." (ANC 2009 Election Manifesto)

Reality: In March 2010, it was revealed that President Zuma had failed to declare his financial interests within the stipulated 60 days, thereby breaching the Executive Ethics Code and undermining this important accountability mechanism. The Public Protector branded the President "tardy" for his transgression, and highlighted the "systematic pattern of non-compliance" by cabinet with the provisions of the Ethics Code.

17. Role of parliament

Promise: "As the national executive, we welcome increased oversight to assist us in achieving our target of effective and efficient government. We will work harder and smarter and the South African people will be the beneficiaries of this constructive robust role of Parliament." (Address in response to the Debate on the State of The Nation Address, 9 Jun 2009)

Reality: Under President Zuma, the executive has displayed increasing disdain for the work of parliament. Leader of Government Business, Kgalema Motlanthe, has twice had to address ministers' poor answering of parliamentary questions and the DA last year revealed that numerous ministers had failed to tender apologies for missing oral question sessions. The contempt shown by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu, for the oversight role of parliament during the standoff over the Interim National Defence Force Service Commission reports set a dangerous precedent- as did the ANC's subsequent decision to remove the chairman of the Defence Portfolio Committee, Nyami Booi, from his post.

18. The Ministry of women, children and people with disabilities

Promise: "The establishment of a Ministry and corresponding department that will focus solely on issues affecting women, children and persons with disabilities means that this will be the last time this function reports to the National Assembly as part of the Budget Vote of The Presidency. We are confident that this change will result in better - and not less - focus on these vulnerable groups. As the Presidency, we will continue to lend this Ministry all the support. We will do so because we know that, a society in which women, children and persons with disabilities remain marginalised, cannot claim to be truly free. Minister Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya will outline the plans of the new Ministry." (Address on the occasion of the Budget Vote of The Presidency, 24 Jun 2009)

Reality: This ministry was intended to oversee all other departments' implementation of various gender, youth and accessibility targets. But the department's lack of capacity and the abysmal performance of its first minister,Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, made this a virtually impossible task. Under Mayende-Sibiya, the ministry managed to lose some of its top lieutenants, fill a measly 24 posts, and leave 142 vacant, and failed even to produce an annual report. The minister's failure to turn up at the first public hearing of the Domestic Violence Act spoke volumes about her commitment to her portfolio. That President Zuma chose to replace Mayende-Sibiya with former Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana, who has had a disastrous track record in her two previous cabinet posts and is known for destroying institutions under her management, raises serious questions about the current administration's commitment to seeing the ministry's mandate upheld.

19. Ministerial accountability

Promise: "People who do not work will be fired, because when they are not performing well, it is the name of the ANC that is damaged. We want people to work. We don't want people who think they are more important than others." (Address delivered at Human Rights Rally, March 2009)

Reality: On 31 October 2010, President Zuma reshuffled his cabinet in what was to be the greatest shake-up of the executive in between elections since 1994. However, rather than displaying a sincere commitment to accountability, President Zuma fired two of his best performing ministers- Minister of Public Enterprises Barbara Hogan and Minister of Public Enterprises Geoff Doidge- and kept some of the worst, including Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande and Minister of Public Service and Administration, Richard Baloyi.

20. The Constitution

Promise: "We have worked hard to defend and protect the Constitution from Opposition parties and many others who, even as we speak, want to tamper with it in various ways. We will always uphold, defend, promote and protect the Constitution of our country and all our democratic institutions." (Final Election Speech, 19 April 2009)

Reality: The ANC government continues to seek to systematically undermine key principles underpinning our constitution, such as transparency, accountability and freedom of expression. Recent examples of this include legislative proposals such as the Protection of Information Bill, the State Security Bill and the Public Administration Management Bill.

21. Prudent use of state funds

Promise: "Since the implementation of our programme will take place in the face of the economic downturn, we will have to act prudently - no wastage, no rollovers of funds - every cent must be spent wisely and fruitfully. We must cut our cloth according to our size." (State of the Nation, 3 June 2009)

Reality: Irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure continues to plague provincial and national departments- notable examples include the inability of three provincial education departments to account for R44 billion in the 2009/10 financial year, the South African State Social Security Agency (SASSA) failed to account for R10.5 billion in the 2009/10 financial year and the R2 billion worth of wasteful and fruitless expenditure tracked by DA last year.

22. Eskom funding

Promise: "Cabinet noted and supported a hybrid funding solution to enable Eskom to continue with its Build programme to ensure the security of supply of energy. The hybrid solution consists of increasing the guarantee framework from R176 billion to R350 billion to enable the utility to continue with its committed Build Programme up to Kusile Power Station and an equity injection of R20 billion over three years starting in the 2011/12 financial year. The equity injection will be funded from liquidating state holdings in non-strategic and non-core assets. National Treasury will identify such assets in due course and in consultation with the Department of Public Enterprises and other relevant departments." (Cabinet statement, 11 Nov 2010)

Reality: Shortly after this statement was released, Cabinet released a "corrected" statement, which read: "The R20 billion equity injection to Eskom will be funded through the Minister's Committee on the Budget as part of the budgeting process." Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters, then told Parliament, "It is not additional funding... but it is a R20 billion guarantee from government to allow us, Eskom, to raise loans from the market." Conversely, Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan indicated that the R20 billion is a proposed equity injection, that has not been agreed to by the cabinet, and has not been incorporated into any budgets. The South African public was therefore presented with four different explanations as to where Eskom's funding would be sourced from. That cabinet would announce a decision with such significance for the fiscus seemingly without a clear financial plan, and without apparently even consulting the Minister of Finance, indicates a reckless approach to public expenditure. Either the President thought that this grave oversight would go unnoticed, or was not concerned with its implications.

23. Ministerial accountability

Promise: In July 2009, Cabinet established a Ministerial Task Team to address problems such as, "addressing public concerns that Government is ‘living large' while citizens are feeling the pain caused by the economic downturn; changing the culture towards greater prudence and less extravagance; achieving greater value for money and delivering more and better services with less resources.". An important part of this process was reviewing the Ministerial Handbook, which sets out guidelines for expenditure by members of the executive. (Cabinet statement, 13 August 2009)

Reality: Despite assertions by Minister of Public Service and Administration, Richard Baloyi, that the amendments to the handbook would be made public "certainly before the World Cup", President Zuma's cabinet continues to stall on the release of the changes.

24. Appointment criteria

Promise: "In answering some of the specific questions raised by the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, executives at state owned enterprises are appointed on merit." (Response to an oral parliamentary question, March 2010)

Reality: In a speech delivered at the ANC's 99th birthday celebrations in January 2010, Present Zuma reaffirmed the ANC's commitment to cadre deployment, stating: "We reiterate what we said in our 2007 Strategy and Tactics document that we place a high premium on the involvement of our cadres in all centres of power." This statement is in direct contrast to President Zuma's assertion that SOE executives are appointed on the basic of merit, rather than political patronage.

Section 5: Criminal Justice System

25. Appointments to the NPA

Promise: "I would like to assure Honourable Smuts and the House that when the President exercises his powers when it comes to the appointment of judicial officers, in terms of the Constitution, he will act in the best interests of the country." (Address in response to the Debate on the State of The Nation Address, 9 Jun 2009)

Reality: Thus far President Zuma has used personal interest- appointing people who have supported him during his political and legal woes- as the key criterion for selection judicial officers. Most recently, Zuma appointed Menzi Simelane as the National Director of Public Prosecutions, a move that the DA is currently challenging in court. Zuma subsequently appointed Nomgcobo Jiba as Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions. Jiba faced a range of charges, including dishonesty and unprofessional conduct, during her previous tenure at the NPA.

Section 6: Independent media

26. Media freedom

Promise: "We will continue to protect, defend and promote media freedom as we have always done." (Final Election Speech, 19 April 2009)

Reality: Last year's arrest and detention of Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika on seemingly spurious grounds, highlighted the increasing threat being posed to the free media by the ANC government. The Freedom of the Press Index (FPI)- an annually released survey compiled by Freedom House, which assesses media independence in 195 countries- decreased South Africa's rating from "Free" to "Partly Free" in 2010. According to Freedom House, this is due to an "increase in official rhetoric against independent or critical voices in recent years, as well as an increase of legal threats to the print media and a lack of independence at the dominant state-run broadcaster..."[ix]. The Protection of Information Bill was tabled in July, two months after the release of this survey. If adopted, the effect of the Bill will be to dramatically increase the measure of political interference in the country's free media, thereby causing our ranking to decline even further.

Section 7: Traditional affairs

27. Defining the status of the San community

Quote: "We are also finalising the status of the Khoi-San communities. Cabinet has approved the policy framework. A bill is being drafted and may be presented to parliament later in the year." (Address delivered at the official opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders, 23 February 2010)

Reality: No such bill was tabled in 2010 and was a policy framework detailing the status of the Khoi-San communities has yet to be developed.

Section 8: Land Reform

28. Post-settlement support for land claimants

Promise: "Working together, we will speed up the land reform process. We will ensure that those who receive land have the financial and technical support to work the land."(Final Election Speech, 19 April 2009)

Reality: No real steps have been taken by the Zuma administration to ensure that land claim claimants receive post-settlement support. In fact, in reply to a DA parliamentary reply in July 2010, it was revealed that government owed land claimants over R3.4 billion in outstanding payments. The failure to provide post-settlement support is certainly a contributory factor to the 90% failure rate of transferred land

29. Promulgation of the Land Use Management Bill

Promise: "It is about transforming our cities and towns and building cohesive, sustainable and caring communities with closer access to work and social amenities, including sports and recreation facilities. In this spirit, we will work with Parliament to speed up the processing of the Land Use Management Bill" (State of the Nation Address, 3 June 2009)

Reality: The Land Use Management Bill is yet to be brought before Parliament

30. Land redistribution

Promise: "Our target is to redistribute 30% of agricultural land before 2014, accompanied by support programmes for the poor, farm workers and small farmers." (Addressing meeting in Durban, September 2010)

Reality:However, earlier in 2010,Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti stated at an agriculture conference that, "We cannot talk anymore about acquiring 30% of land [by 2014]. It's just not practically possible." [x] He further went on to say "we cannot raise R75-billion by 2014 to acquire the 82-million hectares of land that we have targeted... we just don't have the money."

Section 9: Communication

31. Reducing the cost of communication

Promise: "As part of our efforts to encourage greater economic growth, we are working to reduce the cost to communicate. The South African public can look forward to an even further reduction of broadband, cell phone, landline and public phone rates. We will work to increase broadband speed and ensure a high standard of internet service, in line with international norms." (State of the Nation Address, 11 February 2010)

Reality: Following the completion of a statutory market review process, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) gazetted draft regulations on wholesale call termination and commenced public hearings on the process in July 2010. However, to date the public hearings have not been followed by the promised gazetting of the final reduced mobile termination rates.

32. The Independence of the SABC

Promise: "We must emphasise that the public broadcaster is not, and should not be, the mouthpiece of government. It should serve the public interest by providing accurate, credible and comprehensive coverage of events in South Africa and abroad." (Nat Nakasa Awards Dinner, 27 June 2009)

Reality: The ANC's 2007 Polokwane Resolutions read, "The ANC therefore resolved to ‘encourage' the SABC to "promote local content that is consistent with the outlook of the country's Constitution and the values of the ANC." When Zuma came into power, this resolution was given life through a series of Zuma-linked appointments: firstly, Solly Mokoetle, who, on his appointment, announced that he would take his orders from Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda, instead of the SABC Board and Parliament as required by law. Secondly, Phil Molefe, who was unilaterally appointed Head of News by the Chairperson of the new SABC Board, Dr Ben Ngubane (a Zuma appointee), instead of by the collective SABC Board. A memorandum reportedly sent by members of the board to Minister Nyanda revealed that Ngubane had reportedly told the board that he was "operating under the direct instructions of the President of the Republic and that he was resolved to appoint his preferred candidate."

Section 10: Economy

33. Tackling poverty and hunger

Promise: "The ANC is committed to creating an environment that ensures that there is adequate food available to all, that we grow our own food and protect the poor communities from the rising prices of food and eradicate hunger." (ANC Election Manifesto, 2009)

"We have to ensure that we grow the economy to meet the needs of our people squarely. Lasting victory over poverty and hunger requires the creation of decent work opportunities and sustainable livelihoods." (ANC Election Manifesto, 2009)

Reality: The ANC government's failure to develop a clear, effective job creation strategy, coupled with the dire performance of its rural development and land reform programme and its tendency to pander to COSATU on matters of job creation, has severely hampered efforts to address high levels of poverty and pervasive hunger in poor communities. According to the South Africa's 2010 Millennium Development Goal Country Report[xi], it has been deemed unlikely that South Africa will succeed in meeting all targets listed under the goal of eradicating poverty and hunger by 2015. Areas of particular concern include unemployment levels among women and the youth, and the continued prevalence of underweight children under the age of five.

34. Economic position of women

Promise: "We also need to integrate gender equity measures into the Government's Programme of Action. This action will ensure that women, children and persons with disabilities can access developmental opportunities." (State of the Nation Address, 11 February 2010)

Reality: The ANC government's interventions to improve gender equality have failed to effectively address the range of socio-economic challenges undermining the development of South African women. The ruling party's insistence on gender quotas, to which the DA is strongly opposed, has less to do with the advancement of women generally, and more to do with the promotion of a handful of (often politically-connected) women to top positions.

While women comprise nearly half the country's labour force, most are still in lower-wage sectors such as domestic services. Women are, on average, more likely to be unemployed and run the poorest households, and are still paid less than men. As a result, South African women often have to remain financially dependent on the state, their families or their partners.

Key concerns about the current position of South African women include poverty, poor quality education and a lack of adequate skills training. These are all barriers to entry, preventing women from being economic agents. Moreover, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE)'s ability to perform its constitutionally mandated function of promoting and protecting gender equality continues to be undermined by financial impropriety, misconduct and maladministration.

Section 11: The Youth

35. Position of the youth:

Promise: During the NYDA's official launch in 2009, President Zuma talked to the agency's mandate, stating that, "We expect the Agency to initiate programmes directed at poverty alleviation, urban and rural development and the combating of crime, substance abuse and social decay amongst youth. This means that the Agency will work with various government departments that work in these areas, to improve the quality of life of our young people."

Reality: The National Youth Development Agency's (NYDA) first year has been characterized by poor performance and allegations of resources being abused to fight party political battles rather than improve the economic position of young South Africans. According to the Agency's 2009/10 Annual Report, of its 68 targets, 44 were not achieved and 9 could not be measured at all. Insufficient funding and the global financial crisis were largely used to explain the organisation's poor delivery. This stands in stark contrast to the more than R11 million paid in salaries to the 12 members of the NYDA's Operations Executive Committee, and the Agency's irregular expenditure tally of R11 079 000. That the Zuma administration allocated a minimum of R72 million to the NYDA for the hosting of a 9 day ANC Youth League event at the end of 2010, entitled the World Festival of Youth and Students, was not only a brazen abuse of power and conflation of party and state, but a reckless misuse of funds that should have been channeled into initiatives that would truly improve the position of the country's youth.

Section 12: Service Delivery

36. Improving government performance

Promise: "When this administration came into office last year, we undertook to work harder to build a strong developmental state. We said it would be a state that responds to the needs and aspirations of the people, and which performs better and faster. This year, 2010, shall be a year of action. The defining feature of this administration will be that it knows where people live, understands their needs and responds faster. Government must work faster, harder and smarter. We will expect the Executive and the Public Service to comply with this vision. We are building a performance-oriented state, by improving planning as well as performance monitoring and evaluation." (State of the Nation Address, 11 February 2010)

Reality: The establishment of the Ministry of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation appears to have been rooted in a desire to deflect criticism of poor performance and escape political confrontation. For example, much-needed state resources have been pumped at an alarming rate into government-appointed reviews that fall under this Ministry's control. However, these reviews, such as the Anti-Corruption Inter-Ministerial Review, generally promise much but deliver little- and are essentially devoid of any real value to the improvement of government's performance and its ability to deliver.

37. Sanitation

Promise: "The challenges we still need to address include an inability by some municipalities to roll out infrastructure, and to operate, maintain and rehabilitate water and sanitation infrastructure."(Address at the official sod-turning ceremony of the Nsezi Water Treatment Plant, November 2009)

Reality: The rate at which access to sanitation has been improved is far below that promised by the ANC in their 2006 election manifesto. In the manifesto, the party committed to eradicating the bucket system by 2007, and ensuring that all communities had access to clean water and "decent" sanitation by 2010. According to the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR), urban access to improved sanitation was at 66% in 2010, while in rural areas access to improved sanitation was at 49%.

38. Improving South Africa's roads

Promise: "On transport, we will maintain and expand our road network." (State of the Nation Address, 11 February 2010)

Reality: According to a report released by the South African Automobile Association, as reported on October 27, 2010[xii], South Africa's road network is deteriorating at a fast pace. The Free State is reported to be the province with the worst roads, followed closely by the North West and Limpopo. The only province that seems to have improved its road conditions is the Western Cape. At an Eastern Cape Indaba last year, Minister of Transport Sibusiso Ndebele attributed the poor road conditions to insufficient funds for road maintenance and a serious shortage of professional skills.

39. Housing

Promise: "As part of social infrastructure development we will provide suitably located and affordable housing and decent human settlements. We will proceed from the understanding that human settlement is not just about building houses." (ANC 2009 Election Manifesto)

Reality: In response to a DA parliamentary question in December 2010, Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale revealed that R927 million had been spent by government on repairing or rebuilding sub-standard government houses in the 2010/11 financial year. Included in this figure is the cost of destroying and rebuilding 1 144 houses in six provinces, half of them in Mpumalanga.

40. Promise to Struisbaai community

Promise: During his visit to Struisbaai in July 2010, President Zuma promised fisherman Sias Mathinus's family two wheelchairs, a car and assistance with house renovations.He also announced that he had "adopted" the local primary school and committed to helping the school with its sports facilities.

Reality: By November 2010, it was reported that there had been no follow through on any of the promises made by President Zuma[xiii].

41. Promise to the people of Muyexe village

Promise: During a visit to Muyexe village in Limpopo just prior to his June 2009 State of the Nation address, President Zuma promised residents that he would ensure that government supplied basic services and resources to the area, including shelter, clean drinking water for each household, improved health conditions and access to electricity.

Reality: Almost two years later, in December 2010, it was reported that only a few of the commitments made by President Zuma had been upheld. The village remains without electricity and easy access to clean drinking water[xiv].

42. Establishment of independent system operator

Promise: "We will establish an independent system operator, separate from Eskom Holdings." (State of the Nation, 11 February 2010)

Reality: By February 2011, no detailed discussion documents, government policy or draft legislation were available to the public regarding the implementation of an ISO.

43. Independent Power Producers

Promise: "To ensure reliable power supply, we have established an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Energy, to develop a 20-year integrated resource plan. Among other things, this will look at the participation of independent power producers, and protecting the poor from rising electricity prices." (State of the Nation, 11 February 2010)

Reality: It is currently impossible for independent power producers to operate as there is no legal basis for their existence. The Department of Energy has promised to draw up a new regulatory framework that would allow for the functioning of independent power producers; yet this has been repeatedly delayed and will likely now only be completed much later than initially expected. Mr Ompi Aphane, the deputy director-general of electricity, nuclear and clean energy, said that the new regulatory framework would be completed by the end of January. Reports have however started to suggest that the process would only be completed after the local government elections. This would only allow independent power producers access to the grid by the end of 2011- almost 2 years after President Zuma's announcement in the 2010 State of the Nation Address.

Section 13: International Relations

44. Promoting democracy, peace and stability in Africa

Promise: "We remain fully committed to the African agenda, including the strengthening of the African Union and the promotion of democracy, peace and stability in Africa. The ANC has strong party-to-party relations with former liberation movements in the SADC region and other parts of the continent. We will continue to enhance these relations in order to contribute towards deepening progressive political thought in the continent and globally. " (Statement of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress on the occasion of the 99th Anniversary of the ANC, January 2011)

Reality: To the detriment of the pursuit of democracy in Africa, the ANC has allowed its links to various liberation movements, most notably Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF, to dominate its foreign policy agenda. In addition, the South African government- which purports to have a foreign policy based on human rights and the promotion of democratic principles- has refused to speak out on a number of key issues concerning other African countries. These include gross human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, political repression in Swaziland and President Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to respect the will of the people in Cote d'Ivoire following the recent national election. 

45. Defending democracy

Promise: "The ANC government will... [s]pare no energy in our efforts to find urgent, democratic and lasting solutions to the situation in Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Western Sahara, Somalia and other countries." (ANC 2009 Election Manifesto)

Reality: In November 2010, the Democratic Alliance asked President Zuma during an oral question session whether, in light of the release of Myanmar democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, his government would recognise the ostensible government of Myanmar given that the last elections in that country were denounced internationally as a sham. President Zuma replied that it was not the government's business to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries. Given the history of the ANC, and the President's repeated public commitments to the promotion of democracy in other countries, this statement is simply astounding.

14. Crime and Corruption

46. Commitment to tackling corruption

Promise: "We have repeatedly stated our commitment to fight corruption in the public service. Working together with all South Africans, we will intensify the fight against crime and corruption. We will build cohesive, caring and sustainable communities." (State of the Nation Address, 3 June 2009)

Reality: The 2010 State of the Public Service Report, produced by the Public Service Commission (PSC) raised a number of concerns about the Zuma administration's progress in tackling corruption in the public service. Former PSC Chairman Dr Ralph Mgijima stated that he was "appalled" by the level of poor compliance in evaluating senior government officials- despite these officials being in charge of an annual estimated R250-billion of taxpayers' money- and that the proposed Protection Information Bill would "pose challenges" to the government's anti-corruption efforts.[xv]

47. Anti-corruption efforts

Promise: In a letter written by the President in August 2010, he also concluded that:"All right thinking and properly informed people know that it is the ANC democratic government that has made it fashionable to fight corruption, and even to talk about fighting corruption. We have a big arsenal of instruments to fight corruption within the State, and these are performing their functions very effectively and the positive results of these are there for all who are willing to see them to see." (ANC Today, Vol. 10 No. 30, 13-19 August 2010)

Reality: Despite establishing a series of anti-corruption initiatives, including setting up the Anti-corruption Inter-Ministerial Committee under Minister Collins Chabane in November 2009, on the issue of corruption the Zuma administration has been all talk, and little action. For example, its has been more than a year since the inter-ministerial committee was established and Minister Chabane has repeatedly failed to provide details of the anti-corruption strategic report that it is supposed to be being drafted for Cabinet. The failure of this administration to develop a culture of accountability in all spheres of government has not only undermined attempts to effectively tackle corruption, but has also negatively impacted public perceptions about levels of corruption in public institutions. According to the Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer[xvi], for example, only 26% of South African respondents believe that corruption will decrease within the next three years, 7% feel it will remain the same, and an overwhelming 67% believe it will increase.

48. Tackling Corruption

Promise: "Fighting crime and fighting the causes of crime will be a priority of the ANC government in the next five years and there is a need to overhaul the criminal justice system to ensure that the levels of crime are drastically reduced. Corruption must be stamped out." (ANC 2009 Election Manifesto)

Reality: Survey results released in December 2010, which were compiled by Topline Research Solutions on behalf of Transparency International, indicate that, firstly, 62% of South Africans say level of corruption has increased over the past 12 months. Only 15% say corruption decreased. Secondly, poll respondents in only seven other countries (Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon and Pakistan) rated their police service more corrupt than South African respondents- South Africans scored the police service as 4.4 out of 5, where 5 is highly corrupt, and 1 is not at all corrupt. Lastly, more than half of South Africans (56%) believe that the ANC government's actions in the fight against corruption are either ineffective or make no positive effect.

49. Tender procedures

Promise: "We continue our efforts to eradicate corruption and fraud in procurement and tender processes, and in applications for drivers' licences, social grants and identity documents, among others." (State of the Nation Address, 11 February 2010)

Reality: The activities of the ANC's front company, Chancellor House, have raised serious questions about its abuse of power and conflation of party and state. Two notable scandals involving Chancellor House include the Hitachi Power Africa incident- where a contract to supply boilers to the Medupi power station was awarded to a company in which the ANC had a 25% share- and Chancellor House's purchase of a major Swazi coal mine, which was in turn reportedly set to supply coal to several power plants, including Medupi.

50. Tackling Corruption

Promise:

Interviewer: "You signed off the special investigation unit looking into leases, looking into tenders. Is this clampdown on corruption a major priority for you right now?"

Jacob Zuma: "A year after the administration cabinet came into office, I am satisfied that we are tackling it, as we said we would." (Interview with the Sunday Times, September 2010)

Reality: In September 2010, in response to a DA parliamentary question, the President stated that he would not extend the terms of the Donen Commission - appointed to investigate the role of South African individuals and companies in the Iraqi Oil-for-Food scandal - on the most spurious grounds. The alleged involvement of top ANC officials, including the President, in this scandal means that the truth about yet another instance of power abuse and gross misconduct by the ANC government will, in all likelihood, be hidden indefinitely from public scrutiny.

 February 08, 2011
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