Cape Town - With an average performance of four out of 10, President Jacob Zuma and his 35 ministers are not doing enough to resolve South Africa’s challenges from the energy crisis, corruption and service delivery.
This was the view of the DA when it released its 2014 cabinet scorecard on Monday.
“If I were an investor I would say, year on year, things have gotten worse, not better,” said DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane.
And deputy chief whip Mike Waters added: “All in all, cabinet is not performing well… South Africa faces an unprecedented number of serious challenges, and South Africans are struggling to make ends meet.”
Zuma was given “one out of 10” for evading accountability under the headline “missing inaction/missing in action”.
While the Presidency declined to comment on what it said was a party political matter, the ANC in Parliament dismissed the assessment as “too ridiculously subjective, illogical and flawed for anyone to take seriously”.
The DA was neither a ratings agency, nor had the required political objectivity to conduct a serious assessment of the government’s work; it saw its job as the opposition simply to oppose. “We dismiss this cheap publicity stunt with the contempt it deserves,” the ANC chief whip’s office said.
However, the DA stuck to its guns, arguing the assessment was based not on thumbsuck, but performance indices like levels of accountability, healthy departmental financials and effective delivery to citizens.
* Eight out of 10: Went to Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor for a clear vision and action to promote science and technology in charge of a well run and financially healthy department. Frequently in the House, and quick to answer questions, “the main problem... is the limited budget” of the department as more could be done with a bigger allocation.
* Six out of 10: Nine ministers received a six out of 10 mark on the basis of a mix of accountability, ability to deliver services despite constraints, and what was described as an openness to want to deal with the challenges.
They are Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom.
* Five out of 10: For Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, in recognition of his intervention to help stabilise Lesotho and coming to the National Assembly to answer oral questions. But he was whipped for still not having tabled a comprehensive plan to enforce implementation of the National Development Plan, South Africa’s blueprint to reduce inequality and poverty by 2030.
Others scoring five out of 10 included Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko; Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies; International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane; Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana; Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi; Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti; Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa; Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande; and Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane.
* Four out of 10: Telecommunications minister Dr Siyabonga Cwele, for the delay in resolving the Post Office strike and lack of plans for rolling out information and communication technology to all South Africans.
Others who got four out of 10 were Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu; Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown; Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini; and Minister of Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu.
* Three out of 10: Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi; Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant; Transport Minister Dipuo Peters; and Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula
* Two out of 10: Two of the new portfolios established after the May election – Small Business Development (Lindiwe Zulu) and Water and Sanitation (Nomvula Mokonyane).
* One out of 10: With 2014 being described as Zuma’s “worst year” yet in office, the scorecard adds: “The president has been all but absent from duty since re-inauguration. While crises escalate across the board in South Africa, President Zuma has hidden further and further from accountability and disappeared from any and all scrutiny”
* Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson got one out of 10 for various matters including the controversy over the Russian nuclear framework agreement and her role in the appointment of the now sacked PetroSA board chairman Tshepo Kgadima.
* Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, also one out of 10 for, among other things, “unconstitutionally interfering” in the appointment of SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng after a damning public protector report.
* Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel got one out of 10 for his department’s high vacancy levels and “failure to impact on economic growth” alongside his “outmoded” New Growth Path instead of the National Development Plan.
* Too early to assess: State Security Minister David Mahlobo.