The opposition Democratic Alliance’s annual report card of the cabinet is in, and communications minister Dina Pule has not emerged well, receiving an “E” for her performance in 2012.
“Pule’s involvement in the ICT Indaba scandal and her hand in the year of missed opportunities at Telkom have earned her an ‘E’,” the DA document says.
“As cabinet’s blunt instrument, she has managed government’s shareholding in Telkom like an amateur and torpedoed a financially and strategically beneficial deal with Korean telecommunications giant KT Corp,” the party says.
“She also disrupted Telkom’s annual general meeting by demanding to change her votes for the Telkom board, previously submitted by proxy. As a result, competent members of the board were noted out and the parastatal was temporarily left without the requisite number of board members and no audit and risk committee in place.”
Pule’s management of the SABC has also drawn criticism from the DA, with the party accusing her failing to stabilise the public broadcaster, which has been “marred by corruption scandals and management upsets”.
The DA says Pule will remembered most in 2012 for her “expensive shoes and the involvement of her romantic partner in her department’s outsourcing of the costly and ineffective ICT Indaba”.
“The minister seems unperturbed by the true state of affairs in the entities that report to her or the impact the inability and inertia of her department has on tackling the complex and critical issues in her portfolio,” the DA says. “Her department seems to spend most of its time in talk shops or workshops.”
Pule’s spokesman, Siya Qoza, says the minister will not be responding to the DA’s report card.
Pule did manage to score higher than her boss, President Jacob Zuma, who received an “F” from the DA for his performance in 2012. Ministers that also scored an “F” include performance monitoring & evaluation’s Collins Chabane, labour’s Mildred Oliphant, police’s Nathi Mthethwa, state security’s Siyabonga Cwele and agriculture’s Tina Joemat-Pettersson.
In the other technology-focused government department, science & technology, former minister Naledi Pandor scored a “A” from the DA for an “admirable job of setting and pursuing a clear vision for science and technology in South Africa”.
“Pandor made a significant contribution by securing South Africa’s bid to host approximately two-thirds of the first phase of the Square Kilometre Array [radio astronomy] project. Her enthusiasm, firm belief in South Africa’s astronomical competence and the quality of our scientists is commendable.”
Pandor, who was only one of two ministers to receive an “A” in the DA’s report card — the other was health minister Aaron Motsoaledi, was shifted recently to the department of home affairs. Her deputy at science & technology, Derek Hanekom, has taken the reins at the department. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media