We hope Inter-Ministerial task team will restore hope to our people

The decision by Cabinet to invoke section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996, on the Department of Health in Bokone Bophirma  represents an important development to entrench the ethic of good governance in our province.
This development came as result of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to the province two weeks ago, amid violent protests that accompanied some people’s call for Premier Supra Mahumapelo to resign. In addition, the president appointed an inter-ministerial Task Team to give urgent attention to matters of governance and risks facing the province. 
It is yet another milestone in the upward progression, building as it does on a process whose effective roll-out has started a week ago and we are happy the Provincial Government is cooperating. 

As a province, we come from a past in which the predatory attitude had become the habitual and accredited spiritual attitude. It is a past in which some politicians in collaboration with civil servants   had created an administrative and political climate that is uncongenial to the ethic of service to the people. So opaque and intimidating was the climate that prevailed at the time that reporting incidents of corruption was a life-threatening undertaking. Corrupt practices involving political and administrative incumbents were not an unexpected pattern of behaviour. They were not a deviation from the norm.

The invoking Section 1009(1)(b)of the constitution  is influenced by the realisation that if we are to deal effectively with the problem of corruption, we will have to satisfy ourselves with the reason and circumstances that led to the pre-payment of exorbitant amount to Mediosa. There is a perception amongst our people that the relationship between administrators and service providers is most of the time questionable and tend to produce unethical behaviour. 

We hope that the inter-ministerial task team have government arrangements as well as mechanisms for government-citizen interaction that will give us the clear indication about acts of corruption in other departments. Indeed, there is a fairly strong prima facie cases attesting to the growing perception of alleged corruption practise in some provincial departments.

In the public discourse that is conveyed through print and television editorials, corruption is projected as the hallmark of the new dispensation. The notion that the new dispensation is menaced by soaring levels of corruption worries a lot and must be attended to before next year general election. Some people presume a Mangope led government as a past innocent, corruption-free age when things were better. If we are serious about dealing with corruption we need to clarify the separation of roles between those to be performed by politicians and those by the administration in tender adjudication processes.

As ANC members, our primary task is to direct our energies towards activating constituencies that suffer most from corruption. We must create anti-corruption alliances between such constituencies and the political and administrative cadreship of our departments and municipalities. These partnerships can best be promoted by heightening public participation in the Integrated Development Planning (IDP) processes, the activities organised by Ward Committees as well as in the presidential, ministerial and mayoral izimbizo.

Oupa Matla is ANC Head of Communication for the 2019 General Elections and writes in his personal capacity