Mantashe defends cadre deployment

14 September 2011 - 18:24 By Sapa

There was nothing wrong with the highly criticised system of cadre deployment, African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe says.

Image: Martin Rhodes

"Deploying cadres is not a flawed conceptual system," he told the National Teachers' Union's (Natu) 93rd conference in Empangeni.

Mantashe said it would not "be a sin to give black people operational exposure" as part of correcting imbalances created by the apartheid regime.

Critics of cadre development claim it puts incompetent and unqualified people in critical positions.

However, Mantashe said the system helped to give black people operational exposure, thus creating a big base of skilled people.

"We believe that there is nothing wrong with the concept. It helps to address the situation we inherited in 1994. We are not ashamed about that," he said.

Cadre deployment was a corrective action aimed at helping black people to take responsibility in full, he said.

Mantashe said it was important that people met the basic requirements of the post and performed well in the selection process.

Earlier on Wednesday, Inkatha Freedom Party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the education system was bedevilled by the ANC's cadre deployment policy.

"Through this policy, people have been placed in positions for which they are not qualified.

"It has seen competent people, from unions which are not aligned to the ruling party, being overlooked for positions," he said in a speech read by IFP MP Narend Singh.

The IFP leader was unable to address delegates as he was admitted to hospital last week with fatigue.

Buthelezi said he was worried that competent teachers who were not members of the ANC-aligned union - the SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) - were being sidelined for positions and promotions.

"This is a very serious matter to the IFP. The policy of teacher employment must be reviewed."

Buthelezi said unions such as Sadtu had an unfair advantage and influence over the interviewing process.

"The whole process has become damaging to the provision of equality for all," he said.

Democratic Alliance MP Wilmot James commended Natu for campaigning for the needs of its members without disrupting teaching.

"This union has always tried to balance the welfare of its members with those of its members' students," he said.

"Some of the larger unions have become better known for their disruptive actions on the street, rather than their care for their students."