‘Tenderitis’ at root of ANC’s corruption problem in South Africa
If anyone wants to know how the ANC have managed to destroy South Africa and get rich at the same time then read this very good article. Hopefully with the local elections next year, the masses will actually vote for the party that is showing the ANC how to run a government – but, I’m not holding my breath. Cries of racism follow the Democratic Alliance (DA) – its the only way the ANC know how to keep control of the country.
Hat tip: REXTRUT
It is called “tenderitis”. It has swept through the ruling African National Congress and — if critics are to be believed — is threatening the body politic of South Africa.
A whole generation of politicians has grown fat from the disease, which involves awarding lucrative contracts to friends, colleagues, fellow party members and family — regardless of their ability to do the job.
When money is set aside for a specific task, companies are set up at short notice in that field. They then tender for the work and, despite their lack of any experience in the subject, win the contract. At municipal level, where it is rampant, it has led to construction of low-cost houses with leaking roofs and toilets that do not work.
Last year, Tokyo Sexwale, the Housing Minister, said that about 40,000 shoddy houses nationwide would have to be demolished at a cost of £90 million to the Government — about 10 per cent of the housing budget.
He called the issue a “national disgrace”. Other cases involved road and school building, and the provision of goods and services for local government. At national level, such “insider dealing” may involve huge consultancy fees to friends, or the misuse of public funds for private purposes — from transport to entertaining.
In one recent case, the head of South African Airways had to resign after awarding the lucrative catering contract to a company recently set up by his wife and some friends.
Since virtually every top job is a political appointment — the result of positive discrimination to reverse the effects of decades of apartheid — the ANC is involved in every shady deal. In another case, a Ministry of Transport offshoot signed a multimillion-pound, ten-year lease on nine office buildings when only two were in use.
Like most African states, South Africa is finding the second decade of independence much harder to handle than the first. At the centre of the problem lies corruption.
The ANC, which enjoys a near-monopoly on power, has attracted a new set of young, self-seeking members who have little in common with those who fought the long, principled struggle against apartheid.
At the same time a liberation movement — which at its peak brought together liberals, Stalinists, romantics, thugs and idealists, and where loyalty was paramount — has found it difficult to take action against its own and adapt to governing a modern democratic society.
“There is a feeling in the ANC that those who sacrificed their entire professional lives for the movement deserve to be looked after,” Allister Sparks, a veteran journalist and political commentator, told The Times “Some went inside, or into exile, in their 20s and came back in their late 50s . . . The problem is it is easy to subvert that attitude into something else,” .
Corrupt and incompetent ministers rarely resign. The movement, which is racked by internal rivalries and tensions, simply moves them sideways.
“All we ever see in this country is musical chairs . . . but it is our money they are wasting. We have every right to ask them what is going on and — because we are black — they can’t play the race card against us,” said Kgomotso Matsunyane, who hosts an early morning radio show popular with black listeners.
Since President Zuma, himself a populist tainted by corruption charges, took office last year, the teeming black townships have erupted in what are called “service delivery” protests.
Angry residents have stoned local ANC offices, torched the homes of mayors, erected barricades and fought running battles with the security services in scenes reminiscent of the dark days towards the end of apartheid.
“People see the lavish lifestyles these politicians have, and are angry. The country is very definitely at a crossroads,” said Ms Matsunyane, 38, and one of a new breed of people who don’t hesitate to criticise the Government. In the past, black people were reluctant to do that for fear of being labelled pro-white Uncle Toms.
The ANC, which last year suffered the biggest breakaway in its history, is being torn apart about how to deal with the crisis. The unions and their communist allies want what they call “lifestyle audits” of top people, including ministers — an issue which threatens to spark an internal war.
Local elections take place next year, and many analysts predict that the ANC is in for a bruising.
“The best thing that could happen would be for the ANC to break up — its internal contradictions mean it is unsuitable to govern a modern democratic state, but who knows? The decent element still inside seems incapable of recapturing the movement,” said one political analyst. “We need an opposition — badly, and quickly.”