President Jacob Zuma has scored another “F” on the 2013 cabinet report card released by the Democratic Alliance and the Independent Democrats on Wednesday. The opposition party releases its score card for cabinet members annually.
Zuma, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe and cabinet ministers are rated according to, among others, their vision, performance, accountability and finances.
Independent Democrats MP Joe Mcgluwa said: “While president Zuma’s performance in 2013 has been marked by an appalling lack of leadership, the president has also presided over some of the biggest scandals in democratic South Africa.”
These included spending over R200m in taxpayers’ money to upgrade his private residence at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal, the unauthorised landing of a jet chartered by the politically connected Gupta family at the Waterkloof Air Force Base, and the deaths of 13 South African soldiers in the Central African Republic.
Some of the ministers who joined Zuma in the “F” category were economic development’s Ebrahim Patel, labour’s Mildred Oliphant, mineral resources’ Susan Shabangu, police’s Nathi Mthethwa, social development’s Bathabile Dlamini and state security’s Siyabonga Cwele.
Agriculture minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson received her third “F”, prompting calls for her to be fired. “She is the subject of two damning public protector reports and should have been removed some time ago,” said Democratic Alliance caucus chairman Wilmot James.
Public Works minister Thulas Nxesi was another under-achiever who scored an “F”, according to the DA.
“Nxesi, who has spent most of his time spinning president Zuma out of the Nkandlagate scandal, presides over a department which is riddled with financial mismanagement and is devoid of policy direction,” Mcgluwa said.
Only two ministers got an “A” average — Hanekom and health minister Aaron Motsoaledi. “Motsoaledi has made tremendous headway in tackling health problems facing the country, including the fight against HIV/Aids, communicable and lifestyle diseases,” James said. Hanekom was praised for having a firm grasp of the “challenges his department faces”.
Finance minister Pravin Gordhan and tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk scored “B” for their performances.
Van Schalkwyk owed his good marks to the sustained growth in tourism numbers, while Gordhan was given the thumbs up for his “tight grip on South Africa’s purse strings”.
Public service minister Lindiwe Sisulu received her highest mark thus far, a “C” average, moving up from the “F” she received while political head of the defence department in 2010. — Sapa