The Department of Home Affairs has finally appointed a new Director General. Current State Information Technology Agency head Mavuso Msimang is the (un)lucky guy tasked to whip Home Affairs into tip top shape.
Well there is the small fact that he’s currently facing a sexual harassment lawsuit for R500 000 but let’s not let tiny detail get in the way.
In the past on this blog we’ve called for cabinet ministers in charge of non-performing departments to be dismissed. The Business Day Weekender echoed those sentiments in this weeks editorial where they opine over the fact that any hope that Thabo Mbeki might be leaving a distinguished legacy is being diminished by the day because he won’t fire useless cabinet ministers.
Ministries identified by The Weekender as being detrimental to Mbeki’s legacy
All of these could stall SA’s development and destroy Mbeki’s legacy. It is now easy to forget that when Mbeki took the reins in June 1999, his popular nickname was Mr Delivery. Eight years later, it is impossible to attach this tag to him. This reality is more dangerous to Mbeki than any populist pretender to his throne.
- Communications – the sooner Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri gets the boot the better
- Trade and Industry – mainly due to the ongoing Lotto debacle and our selective tarriffs on Chinese textiles
P.S. Speaking of useless ministries did anyone notice in the Sunday Times Careers section that the recruitment ad for the vacant Director-General of Home Affairs post was recalled?
In my opinion, it’s high time for a cabinet shuffle. Despite the renewed statements committing themselves to delivery and better governance it’s still the same old of bunch of ministers that have lead us to what is becoming more and more of an administration so unsure of what to do next they’re too afraid to make a move. Here are the top four ministries that need a shake up.
- Health: It’s becoming apparent that Manto Tshabalala-Msimang is not healthy. After a lengthy stay in hospital for a lung infection she came out and gave a press briefing in which she was clearly not with it mentally and is now back in hospital. We know that Mbeki has protected Manto in the past but it’s clear her wacky views on HIV treatment are making him look an idiot. With her back in hospital it’s an ideal opportunity for her to ‘retire’ due to ‘health reasons’ and get someone in who will bring some international respect back to the Health Department.
- Communications: It’s not often that one person can cost a country billions of Rands but in the case of Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri we have a candidate. In the eight years since she’s been minister South Africa has had the highest communication costs in the entire world. ICASA is possibly the most ineffective regulator on the planet and meanwhile Telkom racks up billions in profit off infrastructure our taxes paid for. And then to add insult to injury just this morning she blamed the ‘private sector’ for not helping out in the local loop unbundling process, forgetting the fact that she had previously made self provisioning illegal.
- Public Enterprises: Thanks to Alec Erwin being asleep at the wheel while SA’s economy grew without a corresponding growth in power generation we can now look forward to five years of power blackouts. Meanwhile SAA needs a few hundred million Rand to bail themselves out of debt, but yet have the ability to launch a low cost airline. And when he’s not losing SA stacks of cash he’s involved in intra-governmental fights with our previous candidate Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri about who gets to control the state broadband infrastructure.
- Home Affairs: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has not been in the position as long as the others listed above but one thing is certain, Home Affairs is as much a mess as the day she took over. Mapisa-Nqakula has made a step in the right direction asking for help from some of the other departments to help in sorting the place out but it may be too little too late. Departmental officials are leaving first chance they can, and the organisation needs a Sargent-Major more than a Director-General.
There are a whole bunch of other ministers who need a swift kick in the pants. Feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments.
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba wrote an op-ed piece in the Sunday Times basically apologising for complete shambles in the department and promising changes for the better in the near future. Personally I’ll believe it when I see it. To turn around that department will require a top to bottom overhaul that will take years to complete.
That being said it’s refreshing to hear a cabinet level official admit their department has major problems, something that is a bit of a change from the ‘never say sorry’ philosophy that permeates other departments.
The court ordered that Bosasa Operations Pty Ltd, trading as Lindela Repatriation Camp, was in default as the company did not defend the action. The company must thus pay Phadlela’s damages.
Hold up. We have private companies operating repatriation camps? How do they get paid? By the number of people they deport? In the US there are entire conspiracy theories based around government and corporate run repatriation camps (meant for specifically for US citizens not illegal immigrants although that didn’t exactly turn out the case here) and lo and behold we actually have it here. This coupled with Home Affairs involvement in the secret and possibly illegal smuggling of terror suspects to Pakistan is probably another reason why the entire department should be shut down and rebuilt from the ground up. I fear they are beyond saving.
David Phadlela is going to go back to court soon to sue the Ministers of Home Affairs and Safety and Security although the asking damages of R76 000 is far too little for this kind of incompetence. His lawyers should add an extra zero on the end as well as demand the resignation of every implicated official in this travesty all the way up to the cabinet level.
It is acknowledged by most these days (including government) that the Dept of Home Affairs is one of the worst run departments in national government. One of the results of the mismanagement and corruption that seems to have taken hold in the department is the ease at which one can fraudulently obtain an identity document. Naturally to remove the ‘contamination’ by criminals of the value of our ID book, Minister for Home Affairs Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula beleives we should just get rid of them, because whatever is envisioned to replace them will of course be totally immune to fraud.
Folks, we’ve reached the bottom of the barrel. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba must take us all for fools and in doing so has thrown any credibility that the proposed Films and Publications Amendment Bill has right out the window. He actually had the nerve to write in this op-ed in the Sunday Times that
All we ever wanted to do with this Bill was protect children from pornography
I kid you not. That’s the actual justification used: to protect the children. Could there ever be a more hackneyed and cliched excuse?
Just the mere fact that he used that justification should be enough to prick up the ears of concerned citizens because it is precisely the excuse that is used by politicians to push through laws that have no actual justifiable reason for ever being enacted. It is a laughable excuse and I don’t think it should be treated seriously for a second.
- There are still calls by some in the SACP for them to contest elections on their own ticket. Every time this comes up Jeremy Cronin gets another gray hair.
- President Mbeki has stated that the Department of Home Affairs will try to make life easier for immigrants with scarce skills. No word yet on whether resident South Africans with scarce skills will be afforded the same courtesy.
- Had an accident at work? Thanks to the example set by our own Minister of Public Enterprises Alec Erwin you can just plant that ‘Sabotage!’ seed of doubt. Who needs personal responsibility?
The department… is busy at the moment to review its Employment Equity Plan and targets set in line with the Employment Equity Act.
No doubt the department is rushing to find some suitable white candidates.
A crack team of government officials, comprising the Director-Generals of Home Affairs, National Treasury, Public Service and Administration, the Public Service Commission and the Accountant General has been assembled to fix the Dept of Home Affairs. And they’ve been given six months to do so.
That’s a very tall order but good luck to them. Let’s see some buttkicking!
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