Every year, the DA presents a report card analyzing government’s performance over the past 12 months.
Eight ministers scored an F in 2013, excluding the president, up from six, including Zuma in 2012.
This year, President Zuma has, once again, led his cabinet as the worst performer in 2013, according to the DA.
The DA said that, under Jacob Zuma, the SA government has gone from one scandal to the next.
“Throughout his term in office, we have been unable to give him a mark higher than an E or an F because his performance in office has not improved. Instead, every year we witnessed a new low. This is a president who is bad for South Africa and should not be returned,” the DA said.
“There is no question that life in South Africa is better than it was under apartheid. But President Zuma is reversing the progress that was made during the administrations which preceded his term of office,” the DA said.
The DA said further that President Zuma has presided over some of the worst crises in democratic South Africa, with corruption costing the tax-payer an estimated R30 billion a year, while police brutality has spiraled out of control.
The political party cited corruption scandals including ‘Nkandlagate’ and ‘Guptagate’, while the economy is “struggling to grow, create jobs and alleviate poverty”.
“Crucially, and most tragically, President Zuma has presided over a weak economy that is lagging behind most of our peers in Africa and around the globe. South Africans have paid the price for the President’s dithering on economic policy, with over 1.3 million jobs lost since he took office.”
The DA said that poor leadership is at the root of Zuma’s cabinet’s overall lacklustre performance.
The DA noted that some ministers who, despite the lack of leadership from the President, still managed to perform well including:
- The Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi;
- The Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom;
- The Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk;
- Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan.
The DA said that the Ministers who have scored an ‘F’ and should be removed from cabinet without any further delay; these include:
- The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson;
- Economic Development Minister, Ebrahim Patel;
- Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant;
- The Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu;
- Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa;
- The Minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi;
- The Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini;
- The Minister of State Security, Siyabonga Cwele.
“The new Minister of Communications, Yunus Carrim, scores a C for attempting – with some vigour – to clean up the mess left by Minister Pule,” the DA said.
Former Communications Minister, Dina Pule received an E in 2012 and would have received an F in 2013 had she not been rightfully dismissed.
“Dina Pule failed dismally on all challenges posed to her in 2012, leaving Minister Carrim to mop up the mess,” the DA said.
The DA said that by the ease and speed with which Minister Carrim has already made progress on some of these shows that Pule was clearly out of her depth as Minister of Communications and lacked sufficient understanding of communications issues.
“Her indecisiveness on key policies has lost South Africa valued time in fast-paced sectors such as information and communications technology (ICT),” the report card stated.
“Minister Carrim has invested his time dealing with turning around the department and driving priority issues, such as finalising the digital migration policy (gazetted late November for public comment), radio spectrum and broadband policies, and the cost of communication.”
Carrim’s overall ambition as minister of communications is to leave the department a better place than he found it so that either he or his successor will have a firm foundation from which to build South Africa’s prowess in the ICT world.
In August, Minister Carrim presented 17 priorities he wanted to tackle before the end of the current Parliament in 2014 and he added an additional two in November.
A concern in the ICT sector is that, because the issues are so complex and conflicted and that he is rushing to ‘tick all the boxes’ before this Parliament ends, the Minister seems to trust the advice of his officials rather than the experts in the sector.
His key priorities for 2014 are to:
- Drive home the migration to digital terrestrial television, free up radio spectrum and make the delivery of universal access to all South Africans a reality;
- Fast track the allocation of high-speed spectrum for wireless broadband services, as our internet response times will continue to lag behind Africa’s leading ICT nations and our trading partners until we free up appropriate spectrum;
- Pursue a credible broadband strategy and rollout plan; and
- Ensure competitive, affordable pricing in the ICT sector.
“Her tenure will be remembered for ignoring the will of the people in Gauteng, and indeed South Africa, by implementing e-tolling,” the DA said.
“Her acceptance and promotion of e-tolling in Gauteng, as a policy direction through the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill, seems to pave the way for furhter e-toll projects in the future.”
“As a policy direction on major infrastructure development, the user pay principle of e-tolls is contrary to the presidential review of state owned enterprises’ recommendations,” the DA said.
“South Africa needs a president who will not be afraid to make difficult decisions and put good governance above political expediency. It has become clear that Jacob Zuma is not that president.
“The DA will do everything possible to hold the government to account. But South Africans must also play their part – and fire President Zuma on election day,” the DA said.