We're paying dearly for ANC's cadre deployment policy
The Times Editorial: The cabinet's announcement on Monday that three provinces - Free State, Gauteng and Limpopo - will receive "special" attention from the national government is dismaying.
For the first time in 17 years, the ANC government has admitted that its elected officials are incapable not only of managing its financial affairs but vital departments as well.
The fact that Gauteng, the economic engine of the country, is among the three provinces on which direct intervention by the Treasury will be imposed spooks potential investors.
That Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has admitted that she is "embarrassed" by her province's failure does not help.
This is no time for embarrassment - it is time for the ANC to take decisive action to fix this mess, which should be accompanied by a re-examination of the damage that some of the party's internal policies have caused South Africa.
Much of the mismanagement can be blamed on the ANC's policy of cadre deployment, which has consistently led to dismal appointments in provincial and local government.
In Gauteng, for instance, the lacklustre Amos Masondo was replaced this year by Parks Tau as Johannesburg's mayor. But both officials have a significant share of blame to shoulder for the billing crisis that has hampered revenue collection for the city.
Instead of acknowledging Tau's oversight role in the disastrous Project Phakama, he was rewarded with the job of running the entire city.
It is widely acknowledged that much of the maladministration and corruption in government is not at national level but in provincial and municipal administrations.
The warning signs have been there all along - the service-delivery protests, the lack of direct foreign investment and the numerous auditor-general reports that reflect poor financial governance.
The time has come for the ANC to review urgently its system of governance.