Intervention in Limpopo laudable but overdue
The Times Editorial: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's pronouncements on the affairs of Limpopo are both shocking and encouraging.
That the rot set in quite a number of years ago in this province is apparent in the horror facts Gordhan provided at a press conference yesterday.
That the provincial administration must be investigated, dismantled and rehabilitated cannot be disputed.
And this is what offers a moment of encouragement - the intervention by Gordhan's department offers an opportunity for change in Limpopo.
Of course the intervention has caused an outcry in certain quarters within the ANC, but the scope of the maladministration and corruption that is being exposed shows that Gordhan's interference is necessary.
Limpopo is the first province being tackled; it will not be the last.
The fact that the provincial administration is so obviously incapable of managing its finances makes it urgent that Limpopo is first in line for national intervention.
Gordhan is a sensible and talented bureaucrat as is evidenced by his tenure at the SA Revenue Service. To accuse him of being a puppet of certain ANC forces is short-sighted and denies the very real evidence of an inept and corrupt provincial administration.
How does a province that receives an annual budget run out of money to pay the salaries of its civil servants?
How does it get to the terribly tangled stage where corruption appears to be endemic to the way state business is run?
But while we applaud Gordhan for his decisive action, a major concern remains: why did it take the national government so long to recognise that the provinces were in serious trouble?
Surely the trouble arrived long before the Limpopo government found it could not pay its civil servants?