CADRE DEPLOYMENT FOR GOVERNMENT JOBS
By: Nkosinathi Dube
“Incompetent and unqualified people are unable to deliver services efficiently and effectively. Competency and ethical standards are crucial for an effective public service,” said Modimowarwa Kanyone of the Human Sciences Research Council, as quoted in the Mail and Guardian on July 2012.
The government plays a key role in the public sector in terms of job creation and section 195 of the constitution provides that all levels of government should involve democratic values and principles of efficient use of resources.
Widespread cadre deployment negates this.
The cadre deployment policy was drafted by the African National Congress as one of its black empowerment policies.
The policy is seen by some institutions such as the HSRC (Human Sciences Research Council) as a means of separating the party from state. Kanyone said, “Cadre deployment is a serious obstacle to efficient public service as the ANC systematically places loyalty ahead of merit.”
With the country’s municipalities under performing at an alarming rate the auditor general Kimi Makwetu recently released the results for the 2013-2014 Municipal audit .Only 9% of them got clean audits raising concerns for the provision of services and concerns over expenditure and incompetence with regards to the awarding of tenders.
According to Statistics South Africa the unemployed level in the country has risen to 25.5% from 21.5% in 2008, which says a lot about the public sector in terms of failing to create sustainable job opportunities.
In September 2011 Gwede Mantashe, Secretary General of the ANC, addressed delegates at a NADTU(National Democtratic Teachers Union) conference in eMpangeni where he said, “There is nothing wrong with the highly criticised system of cadre deployment which gives black people operational exposure.” But the policy which the ANC implemented at its 50th congress in Mafikeng has since backfired.
The government departments, both provincial and national have inherited under-par employees which has led to municipalities being unable to provide efficient service delivery, as a result in 2011, the entire Limpopo Province was placed under administration due to exhaustion of funds linked mainly to municipal over-spending.
The recent exposure of top government officials who gave false qualifications and hold key positions in government departments shows the flaws that exists in the cadre deployment policy.
Thabani Khumalo, a political and communications strategist and managing director of Think Tank Marketing said, “Cadre deployment was created to promote and ensure a representative public service and to accommodate the country’s diversity in order to accelerate democracy and development.”
“Unfortunately it has been wrongly executed and has turned a political liability and a threat to our democracy.it is used as a tool to promote nepotism, corruption and to reward friends with political positions. As a result, community protests and dissatisfaction with state services are linked to lack of skills, experience and expertise by politically deployed cadres,” said Khumalo.
He added that whether through employment or tender allocation, cadre deployment has deprived citizens access to quality development and for many, basic human rights.