Mantashe: We inherited a corrupt value system
Natasha Marrian, Mail and Guardian
Apr 16 2010 15:56
South Africa inherited a "corrupt and a wrong value system", which it was currently managing, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Friday."... What we inherited actually corrupted us and therefore we are actually managing a corrupt system and a wrong value system.
"... The new order [after 1994] ... inherited a well-entrenched value system that placed individual acquisition of wealth at the very centre of the value system of our society as a whole," he said, delivering the inaugural Violet Seboni memorial lecture at the Johannesburg City Hall.
Quoting former president Thabo Mbeki, Mantashe said: "Within the context of the development of capitalism in our country, individual acquisition and material wealth produced through oppression and exploitation of the black majority became the defining social value in the organisation of white society."
This was historic he said.
"Now, because the white minority was the dominant social force in our country, it entrenched in our society as a whole, including among the oppressed, the deep-seated understanding that personal wealth constituted the only true measure of individual and social success."
Societal values had shifted from "revolutionary morality to material ownership".
The country needed reminding that life was not about "being in business", he said.
"Youth must be informed about participation in academia, in politics, in trade unions, in NGOs and other structures and sectors that serve society if we dream of saving our society.
"Serving our people, not monetary accrual, is the definition of success."
Mantashe told the hall, packed with Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) members, that "prudence, modesty and hard work" should be the image projected by role models in society.
His stance against materialism was similar to that of Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, who said "crass materialism" was endangering the ruling party.
Seboni was second deputy president of Cosatu and she died in a car crash in April 2009 on her way to campaign for the ANC.
Mantashe turned to the Freedom Charter, saying it should be upheld in its entirety.
"Any revolutionary may have reservations about particular clauses, but a cadre of the movement remains an upholder of the Freedom Charter in its entirety.
"We don't say I don't like this clause."
A clause in the Freedom Charter is at the centre of the current debate on nationalisation of the mines, which both the ANC Youth League and Cosatu are pushing for.
The clause says mineral wealth beneath the surface of the soil would "revert to the ownership of the people".
Mantashe said some may not agree with this, but those in the movement were upholders of the Freedom Charter as a whole, not only sections that are suitable to them.
Echoing the ANC in Gauteng, Mantashe cautioned against the apparent "rise of the right wing".
He charged that the right wing was becoming more "confident and willing to take chances".
The ANC in Gauteng said this was evidenced in organisations like AfriForum using the courts to reverse progress.
"It is our responsibility to pay attention to that issue because, where I am seated, I think that is the most clear and glaring challenge facing our movement today, as we sit here," Mantashe said.
He said the right wing had used ANCYL president Julius Malema as a "trigger" to push its own agenda.
"All comrades must actually move out of that space so that the true intentions of the right wing can be discovered," he said.
Brandishing the "Vierkleur" and apartheid-era flags should not be dismissed as a "small issue".
"It is an express defiance of progress and the intention to reverse progress ... their intention is going to be exposed without any scapegoat from ourselves."
He urged unity going forward, saying it was important to build a strong alliance and that members had an "obligation and duty" to do so.
This followed months of bickering between the ruling tripartite alliance and a heated bilateral meeting between the ANC and Cosatu.
ANC needs corruption to survive - Zille
President Jacob Zuma continues to "benefit from corrupt relationships" to this day, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said on Friday.
Zille wrote in her weekly newsletter that Zuma was "paralysed as a President" and that the ANC, which "needs corruption to survive", was turning South Africa into "a criminal state".
"If we dig deep enough, I believe we would discover that Jacob Zuma continues to benefit from corrupt relationships to this day," Zille said.
"The lifestyle of his family is too lavish to be affordable on his presidential income.
"We wonder how he can spend R65 million, which he has insisted is his own money - renovating his residence at Nkandla. And we marvel at how he can support his wives, his fiancee and 20 children on a single salary."
Zuma's family members, including his wives, are involved in over 100 companies "some of which benefit from state contracts", Zille said.
"It was therefore not surprising that Zuma missed the deadline to declare his financial interests by 10 months, and only disclosed his assets when public pressure forced him to," she said.
"The irresistible inference is that his advisors were sanitising his business interests for public consumption."
Zille said it was impossible for Zuma to get tough on corruption, "even if he wanted to" as ANC leaders in the party, the state, and in business had become an interlocked network of patronage and corruption.
"Everyone knows that everyone else is corrupt, so they cover up for each other, and abuse power to tighten their grip, undermining independent institutions and eliminating opposition both inside and outside the party.
"In the process, the ANC is turning South Africa into a criminal state."The ANC, she said, had become a "tenderpreneur-in-chief".
"It is time for everyone to realise that corruption is not just an aberration in the ANC that must be rooted out from time to time.
"The ANC needs corruption to survive, it is its lifeblood. It needs it to fund its election campaigns. It needs it to pay the loyalty networks necessary for ANC leaders to entrench their power. And it needs corruption to pay for its leaderships lifestyles."
Zille said the ANC had set up front companies to "institutionalise corruption".
The most "notorious" of these was Chancellor House Holdings, whose purpose was to "channel tenders and contracts from the ANC in government to the ANC in business in order to enrich the ANC and its leaders".
Chancellor House facilitated a deal between Eskom and Hitachi Power Africa, to manufacture boilers for the new Medupi Power Station, from which the ANC stands to make an estimated R1 billion tax free profit, Zille said.
"Eskom will have to pay with taxpayers' money. And, as a result, the ANC will become one of the wealthiest political parties in the world," Zille said.
"Let South Africans remember this when they pay their inflated electricity bills." - Sapa
A billion ways the ANC is wasting public funds
Lindiwe Mazibuko, DA National Spokesperson
8 April 2010
With the inclusion of some new information, the Democratic Alliance’s Wasteful Expenditure Monitor, which has been tracking items of fruitless and wasteful expenditure by the ANC administration since July last year, has now passed the R1-billion mark.
The key figures are as follows:
- Cargate: Our Wasteful Expenditure Monitor has now tracked R47.4-million wasted on new luxury vehicles that have been bought by the ANC.
- Hotelgate: A total of R4.5-million has been spent on luxury hotel stays and other property-related expense scandals. This includes the R800,000 spending spree by Police Commissioner Nathi Mthethwa at a series of luxury hotels.
- Partygate: A total of R203-million has been wasted on various parties, banquets, conferences and other events, including the R10.6-million spent by KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize on an inauguration party, the R7-million spent by the Free State provincial government on a party coinciding with the opening of their legislature, the estimated R40-million spent on the National Police Day, the R42-million spent by the Department of Arts and Culture on a series of gala dinners and music concerts, and the R75.7-million wasted by the Department of Transport on four conferences.
- Advertising: A total of R16.5-million has been spent on wasteful marketing, e-marketing and self-congratulatory advertising, including approximately R15-million spent by Durban City Council on two websites.
- Other spending: A total of R732.9-million on all other items of wasteful and fruitless expenditure, including the R22.5-million Sarafina-style theatre production paid for by the Human Settlements department, and the R117.5-million that it cost the Gauteng provincial government to cancel their motorsport contract.
The total wasteful expenditure by the ANC as recorded in our monitor now stands at R1,004,000,000.
This equates to just under 19,000 RDP houses, or enough funds to pay the annual salaries of another 8000 teachers.
The Rationale behind the Wasteful Expenditure Monitor:
In delivering his 2009 budget vote to Parliament, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan warned that the state had to be more disciplined in the way it manages its money. He stated: “After seven years of growing budgets and rising revenues there is a degree of fiscal looseness in the system and now is the time to tighten up on that looseness.“ He continued, “Money is not the problem ... it is how we spend the money. This has to improve”.
The DA agrees wholeheartedly with Minister Gordhan’s sentiments, and hoped to see this translate into action in the Zuma administration. It failed to do so. Indeed, instead what transpired was a stream of examples of fruitless and wasteful expenditure, more often than not, to indulge the executive’s personal tastes.
As part of its oversight role, as the official opposition, the Democratic Alliance thus decided to created a Wasteful Expenditure Monitor, to track the ANC government’s excessive expenditure. We have done this to show that, very often, the needs of the ANC elite are put before the needs of ordinary South Africans. We believe that by keeping a record of this expenditure, we can help to hold elected representatives to account, and assess the impact that wasteful expenditure has on the government’s ability to deliver services as a whole.
How the Wasteful Expenditure Monitor has worked:
Almost all items of wasteful expenditure tracked in our monitor have occurred during the Zuma administration’s term in office, though, as a rule, we have included all items of ANC wasteful expenditure that have emerged for the first time since the monitor was launched on July 26th. This means that, over the last 255 days, R1-billion in wasteful ANC expenditure has been exposed to light, the majority of which has been the result of rampant overspending by the Zuma administration on cars, hotels and other luxuries.
The expenditure that we include in this monitor is only money that can be without a doubt considered wasteful squandering of public funds – be it on unnecessary glitz and partying, or on clear-cut and proven negligence or corruption.
We have not, for example, included the millions involved in Julius Malema’s contracts with the Limpopo provincial government, because no formal investigation has taken place into them, and thus there is no official verdict on the allegations that have been made. The claims may appear weighty, and the fact that no proper action has been taken may be a consequence of the ANC’s disinterest in upholding the rule of law, but we have attempted to uphold a strict test: that if questions remain about the possible waste, we have generally not included it.
This also means that R1-billion is, in all likelihood, a highly conservative estimate of the ANC’s wasteful expenditure.
In judging possible examples of wasteful expenditure we have also differentiated between mere difference of opinion in policy matters, and clear-cut instances of waste, based not on policy but on personal indulgence, corruption, cronyism or negligence. So, for instance, we have not included the several hundred million rand of expenditure associated with the creation of several new departments by President Zuma, but we have included the array of luxury vehicles purchased by his administration. The former is a policy difference that has resulted in expenditure that we consider unnecessary; the latter, we believe, is utterly clear-cut personal indulgence.
In sum, this means that what we present here is only a small fraction of what actually goes to waste, in a multitude of less obvious and provable ways, in government structures at all levels every single day.
The ANC’s response:
There have been a range of counterproductive responses from the ANC government on accusations about excessive expenditure.
Public works minister Geoff Doidge, for instance, tried to claim that ministers needed “a conducive environment for them to be able to do their work”, and that luxury cars were simply tools of the trade. He also used the excuse that the purchases were “not outside of policy and regulations”, as did several other ministers.
There has also been a great deal of obfuscation, and opposition to efforts to expose wasteful and fruitless expenditure. The national Police Minister, for instance, simply refused to answer questions about national police day on the pointless excuse that it was “held every year”.
The only member of government who has come anywhere close to admitting an error was Planning Commission Minister in the Presidency, Trevor Manuel, who conceded last year that buying a R1,2-million BMW for his official use was not well-advised.
However, it is notable that, despite the public outcry from many individuals and organisations across the country, neither Manuel, nor anyone else in the Cabinet, has returned their expensive cars.
The scandal over cars did eventually compel the ANC government to take some action, resulting in the appointment of a task team to "look at government expenditure in the context of the economic meltdown". This task team was appointed last July.
Almost a year has now past, and the task team has yet to produce a final report.
This is despite the fact that, when asked in November last year about a deadline for the production of the report, Minister of Public Service and Administration, Richard Baloyi, was quoted as saying "It will have to be soon".
What lies behind this frivolous expenditure is an attitude by a significant proportion of ANC government officials, including many of those in our Cabinet, that money is simply there to spend. There appears to be a view that the government does not need to account for this money to the people who earned it, or to explain why it is more productive to spend money on bling than on education and job creation.
Judges' Multi-Million Rand Taxpayer Funded homes
Former chief justice's home stands empty as taxpayers fork out millions on his successor's new upmarket mansion
Feb 21, 2010 12:00 AM
By Kim Hawkey, Sunday Times
An elegant home in Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, bought for R9-million by the government four years ago for the country's chief justice, is standing empty, while taxpayers have paid millions for a stately new residence for his successor.
New Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, 56, who took over the reins from Pius Langa last October, has moved into a five-bedroom mansion in Sandhurst, Johannesburg, one of the country's most exclusive suburbs, where the price tag for properties ranges from R10-million to R100-million.
The Department of Justice this week confirmed that a Sandhurst property, named Villa Rosa, had been bought from the Oliver Tambo Family Trust, but would not say for how much.
Following the death of Adelaide Tambo in 2007, the Tambo children put the property on the market last year.
The Sunday Times was told that the property was bought for about R20-million, although the transfer, which would include the sale price, has yet to reflect on deeds records.
The Sunday Times, in a bid to accurately establish the sale price, contacted Dali Tambo - as the seller - and the estate agency initially mandated to sell the property. Neither would provide details of the transaction.
The house, which was donated to the Tambo trust in 1998 and was Adelaide Tambo's home until she died, was on the market for a long time before the government bought it.
The double-storey, five-bedroom home is set on an acre of land and was designed by acclaimed architect Philip Watermeyer.
It boasts four reception rooms, a guest suite and plush garden with a swimming pool.
The Department of Public Works, which buys property on the government's behalf, refused to confirm or deny the price tag.
Yesterday, public works spokesman Lucky Mochalibane said the department's response to our questions was "final".
An earlier statement sent via e-mail read: "The Department of Public Works confirms that a house in the suburb of Sandhurst was purchased as the official residence for the Chief Justice."
It said the department was "continuously upgrading and improving our prestige portfolio, which provides accommodation for members of the executive and the judiciary".
Acting director-general in the Department of Justice Simon Jiyane said that although empty, the Houghton Estate house previously occupied by Justice Langa would not go to waste.
He said that since 2005, regulations made provision for the chief justice and his deputy to be provided with homes. Since the government has been unable to provide a home for Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke - who has been in the post for nearly five years but has not lived in a state-owned home - he is now scheduled to take up residence on the property.
Jiyane said there "is no determination" about the amount of money that can be spent on houses for the country's top judges, but said that the allocation of a house depended on whether one was available.
He said officials go t a three-month grace period in which to pack up and leave state-owned homes after leaving office.
However, since Chief Justice Ngcobo was appointed in October and was moving to Johannesburg from KwaZulu-Natal, the government was in a fix, as it did not have a home available immediately.
Langa, 70, who was appointed chief justice in 2005, moved into the government-owned property in Houghton Estate some time after it was bought in February 2006.
In addition to their hefty annual salaries - Ngcobo earns R2-million and his deputy R1.8-million - the country's top judges are also entitled to houses, andcars at the expense of taxpayers.
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