It is unfair to expect social partners such as those in the labour environment to achieve stability when the government itself cannot maintain a stable state, said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa was speaking at the 21st Annual National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) Summit held in Boksburg on Friday. Given reports in the media, Ramaphosa said there is an impression of a lack of coherence within government and institutions which are in a state of “open conflict”.
“Our people want leadership who will lead in a stable and consistent manner,” he said. The president calls upon partners in labour such as Nedlac to achieve stability, but the expectation is to have stability within the state as well. Government should also learn to overcome its differences, he added.
“We must expect the state to act in a way the president calls us to act. All actors in state must act with decorum and with a measure of stability,” said Ramaphosa. “A well-functioning government is not at war with itself.”
Ramaphosa said the only way problems could be resolved is through open dialogue and cooperation, to reach a consensus about solutions.
He said that there should be no “impressions” that government actions are influenced by considerations other than the advancement of the people of South Africa. “If we create those impressions, they become deceptions and become reality.
“Where wrong is committed, no one in South Africa must be seen as being above the law,” he said. The rule of law should be executed in a way that ensures stability in the “broader politic” of the country.
Ramaphosa said government is working on addressing issues, and to ensure actions are directed at the continuation of the stability of governance in the country.
On the issue of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), Ramaphosa said that all public entities should uphold cooperative governance as required by the constitution. “We would like SOEs to act in a way that entrenches stability in our country,” he said.
SOEs should be run efficiently and public servants should work to ensure public good. Public service should not be influenced by any “external interference” or political agenda, said Ramaphosa.