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Outa urges Ramaphosa to dump Ministers Mantashe, Nzimande, Chikunga

Image of Gwede Mantashe

Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe

21st June 2024

By: Thabi Shomolekae

Creamer Media Senior Writer

     

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Ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s much anticipated new Cabinet appointments, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) is urging him not to reappoint Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe, Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande and Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga.

Outa also suggests that Ramaphosa consider reducing the size of the new Cabinet.

Outa CEO Wayne Duvenage cited systemic inefficiencies, mismanagement, irregularities in procurement processes and corruption, which he said had been observed in all three departments.

“Reappointing these Ministers would perpetuate poor performance, with more negative consequences for the country, further impacting service delivery to the people,” he said.

Duvenage said that it believed meaningful change for the better would come if Ramaphosa appointed “the right people” to Cabinet, noting that under Mantashe, the mining cadastre system had collapsed, impacting negatively on transparency and investment in South Africa’s mining sector.

“In addition, the lack of transparency when it comes to diesel procurement for Eskom’s peak power usage and other dubious activities on his watch, coupled with his alleged involvement in State capture transactions as reported by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, make Mantashe unfit for any Cabinet role,” he said.

In discussing Nzimande’s alleged shortcomings, Duvenage pointed to procurement irregularities in the sectoral education and training authorities, universities, technical and vocational education and training colleges, and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

Meanwhile, he highlighted that Chikunga’s short tenure as the Minister of Transport and her previous role as deputy minister has been disappointing, pointing to challenges with road safety, corruption in driver’s licence testing and inefficiencies in the Natis vehicle registry system.

He mentioned the recent reversal of the decision to extend the validity period of the driver’s licence from five to eight years, “with no meaningful explanation”.

Further, he stated a lack of transparency by the Road Traffic Management Corporation in fee increases for relicensing and registration of vehicles, as well as a lack of transparency and maladministration by the Road Traffic Infringement Agency.

“Outa has engaged with several whistleblowers over the years from departments within these ministries, and our investigation and research shows ineptitude and a lack of will to address the many gross inefficiencies and system challenges in these departments. These problems have been a burden to our country and its citizens, and increased the cost of living and doing business in South Africa,” Duvenage said.

Outa also singled out Police Minister Bheki Cele’s performance in the Police Ministry and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s tenures, which it says have been grossly inadequate.

“New and strong leadership is critical in addressing the decline in education standards and improving policing effectiveness in fighting growing levels of serious crime,” said Duvenage.

Meanwhile, he praised Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu’s leadership, noting that he “is doing a great job in undoing the damage caused by his predecessors”, Nomvula Mokonyane and Lindiwe Sisulu.

“We commend Minister Mchunu for his efforts, proactive approach and leadership. He has made significant strides in managing water resources and replacing him would definitely be a setback for the department,” he said.

Duvenage said Ramaphosa had an opportunity to make “bold” changes, which he said were needed to improve the state of the country.

“Our commitment as a civil action organisation is to improve governance for the benefit of all South Africans. We will remain vigilant and ensure that those in leadership are held to the highest standards of accountability and transparency,” he said.

Edited by Sashnee Moodley
Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia

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