'How ANC created a chaotic government‚ in 164 easy steps'

18 October 2018 - 15:18 By Dave Chambers
The nine years since Jacob Zuma took over as president have seen no fewer than 164 changes to the national executive.
The nine years since Jacob Zuma took over as president have seen no fewer than 164 changes to the national executive.
Image: Gallo Images / City Press / Muntu Vilakazi

If you were to list the different cabinets SA has had since 2009‚ you’d need 14 columns.

That’s what the Institute of Race Relations has done in a new report‚ Executive Chaos‚ which says instead of a stable administration under the ANC’s large parliamentary majority‚ SA has endured “a period marked by profound turmoil and dramatic and frequent change”.

Report author Gareth van Onselen‚ head of politics and governance at the IRR‚ said on Thursday: “There are many reasons for the ANC’s failure to deliver over the last nine years‚ but one of the biggest contributing factors is undoubtedly the discontinuity in leadership‚ at the very top.

“Executive chaos at the top equals delivery chaos on the ground.”

The nine years since Jacob Zuma took over as president have seen 129 people serving as ministers or deputy ministers‚ and no fewer than 164 changes to the national executive.

The report says:

  • The average national executive since May 10‚ 2009‚ has lasted 245 days before being reconstituted;
  • 57 people who have been ministers or deputy ministers are no longer part of the national executive;
  • By the time his second term started‚ Zuma’s cabinet retention rate was just 28%‚ just over half that of his predecessor‚ Thabo Mbeki;
  • Of the 64 national executive members in May 2009‚ 37 are no longer part of it and only seven retain their original positions;
  • Only the basic education ministry has the same minister and deputy as it had in 2009; and
  • The communications ministry has had eight ministers and five deputies.

As well as Angie Motshekga at basic education‚ three other ministers have clung on to their jobs since 2009: Ebrahim Patel at economic development‚ Aaron Motsoaledi at health and Rob Davies at trade and industry.

The 77-strong national executive currently has five vacancies: there is no environment minister after the death of Edna Molewa on September 22; Pravin Gordhan has no deputy at public enterprises; and there are three empty offices in the presidency.

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