Editorials 30.1.2017 06:30 am

Tightening laager around Zuma

President Jacob Zuma. File Picture: GCIS.

President Jacob Zuma. File Picture: GCIS.

There is a fear that far from uniting the fractured ANC, the laager will only be drawn tighter around the party leader.

We are a scant 10 days away from President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address and a Cabinet reshuffle, which political insiders tell us is a certainty.

Quite apart from the threatened reintroduction of the past parliamentary upheavals that have typified Zuma trying to orate his interpretation of various aspects of life in this country and where the president believes we are headed, there is a fear that far from uniting the fractured ANC, the laager will only be drawn tighter around the party leader.

This result can only widen the division within the ruling party by effectively muting dissenting voices within the national debate.

As is widely perceived to be the case when the ANC rigidly toes the party line inside parliament, the locking of any doors of discord could have the direct and detrimental effect of further eroding the cornerstones of our hard-won democracy.

It is almost certain to expose the inherent weaknesses of the system of cadre deployment widely applied in many spheres of government and the stateowned enterprises it controls.

These weaknesses are self-evident: the signal failure of the state broadcaster and the machinations of a dysfunctional SABC board, the ongoing debacle of the massive cost overruns and long overdue completion dates at Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile power stations, plus the persistent mutterings that a seat in parliament awaits the power utility’s former CEO Brian Molefe after his emotional resignation in the fallout from former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s leaked state capture report.

The list goes on almost ad nauseam. Cadre deployment is the most insidious form of cronyism, a sop to the often connected but incompetent.

It points more directly to a lack of thought more damning than anything that may have been discussed in a Saxonwold shebeen.

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