Former communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda has been given the joint second lowest score in the Democratic Alliance’s annual cabinet report card.
Every year, the DA produces a scorecard in which it outlines its assessment of the performance of cabinet members, giving each a rating out of 10.
This year, two ministers, Nyanda and state security minister Siyabonga Cwele both received the second lowest scores on the list, both getting one out of 10. Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, former minister of women and children and people with disabilities scored zero.
The DA says the communications industry was “hobbled by the maladministration and centralising tendencies” of Nyanda.
“There has not been much development of telecommunications infrastructure, policies or legislation over the past year because the former minister … was busying himself with all manner of other occupations,” the report card says.
The DA’s analysis is based on several factors, including the department’s qualified audit, the number of questions answered in parliament — both written and oral — the number of staff vacancies in the department, and several once-off factors, such as spending on tickets for the 2010 soccer World Cup.
According to the DA report, Nyanda answered only 65% of the questions posed to him in parliament. The report also slams the department for an estimated R5,2m spent on World Cup tickets.
The DA says other factors also influenced its scoring of the former minister, including allegations of hundreds of thousands of rand spent at expensive hotels in the Western Cape and tender troubles linked to his family business.
“Nyanda is no loss to the cabinet. He has failed on almost all counts, to the detriment of the communications industry,” says the report.
Nyanda was axed from his position as minister earlier this year, and has now been appointed as the President Jacob Zuma’s parliamentary counsellor.
Though the DA is scathing about Nyanda’s stint in office, it is optimistic about the newly appointed minister, Roy Padayachie. “The appointment of Padayachie to sort out the mess left by Nyanda has been welcomed as one of Zuma’s better choices,” says the DA’s report.
The DA says he was the only new minister sworn in after the cabinet reshuffle able to explain exactly how he intended to fix the problems faced by his department.
Padayachie is no stranger to the communications industry. He was deputy minister under former minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri.
The top scorer in the DA’s list this year is finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who got nine out of 10. The party says this is the highest score ever given on its annual report card.
“The fact that he has not been able to obtain the full cooperation of the rest of the cabinet with all his plans is the only concern that prevents him from obtaining a perfect 10,” it says. — Staff reporter, TechCentral