Editorial: Mbalula can’t point fingers

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 24, 2023


ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula’s call for Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to speedily attend to Transnet rail issues may be seen as necessary considering the desperate situation, but not legitimate, especially coming from him.

No wonder the ANC moved fast in doing damage control following Mbalula’s remarks that Gordhan better “move fast or we will move you”.

Mbalula’s well-documented failures when he was transport minister make him the last person to point fingers even when Gordhan’s obvious shortcomings appear to be more severe.

South Africans need no reminder that Gordhan’s stint, especially when it comes to the country’s state-owned enterprises such as SAA, Eskom, Denel and Transnet, is one to forget.

He, like Mbalula at Prasa, presided over the near collapse of these companies, which were meant to help grow the country’s economy. But none of them would admit it though, but would be fast to blame “state capture” as if they were not occupying cabinet posts during the so-called wasted years.

But for Mbalula to try and sanitise his own failures by throwing his own comrade under the bus is something that the ANC would have not been comfortable with. More so when next year’s elections are just around the corner. A divided ANC is the last thing the party wants right now.

No doubt that Gordhan’s failure to make it to the current national executive committee of the party makes him an easy scapegoat.

He is no victim, however, and himself has a lot to account for although he likes to be the last to admit, even when the failures are obvious.

The party’s statement by spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri in reaction to Mbalula’s remarks suggests that the secretary general may have been called to order.

“The Minister of Public Enterprise will undoubtedly not provide answers alone facing our rail transport system.

The fact that a clarion call is sounded on the Minister to fast-track policy interventions to address our rail and freight logistics does not amount to a call for his removal. We carry an obligation on our shoulders to provide adequate responses to all of these challenges.”

Expect a lot of this in the months to next year’s general elections as the ANC will stop at nothing in covering up its monumental failures.

Cape Times