Unless something is done, SA will inevitably become a failed state.
Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)
One of the harsh measures President Cyril Ramaphosa promised to implement to stave off an economic catastrophe was to reduce the size of the public service.
Many doubted he would follow through on that and, to date, he hasn’t, probably because government work has been turned into sheltered employment for many loyal ANC cadres.
But not all public servants fall into this category and many believe in the service part of their societal role. However, now it appears there is more of a reason that those already employed in bloated government departments would resist any attempt to reduce their numbers.
Working for government is highly profitable.
Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille made the shocking claim this week that 3,700 employees in her department alone were doing business with the state.
In 2018, the department of public service and administration estimated that more than 2,700 public servants across all departments were involved in business with the government.
Such conduct is illegal in terms of the Public Administration Management Act, which was “operationalised” last year, as well as the code of conduct for the public service, which came into effect in 2016.
Offenders can be fined or jailed – or both. But, so far, it appears nobody has been brought to book.
It goes without saying that efficient services cannot be delivered when the people delivering them have monetary interests in those services.
The revelation by De Lille confirms what many long-suffering South Africans have believed for some time … that the ANC is not so much a government but a vast, many-tentacled parasite which is feeding on the blood of taxpayers.
It is going to be almost impossible to eradicate that system of enrichment and patronage but, unless something is done, SA will inevitably become a failed state.
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