DA Insists On Their Own DGs, But They Claim It’s Not Cadre Deployment

Despite vehemently opposing the ANC’s cadre deployment scheme, the DA claims that its insistence on picking its own candidates for key ministerial positions in the Government of National Unity (GNU) was motivated by a desire to employ the best people for the job rather than cadre deployment.

The DA sought 12 cabinet positions, including that of deputy president (DP) in the GNU.

It also required that Directors General (DGs) in departments reporting to their ministers be appointed by committees made up of DA ministers, and that their decision not be concealed.

All of this was detailed in a letter of demands submitted to the ANC’s secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, on Sunday, notifying him of their plans for the GNU.

In the letter, the DA also demanded that all present DG contracts in the departments they desired be terminated in favour of nominations approved by them.

Critics, including some ANC members, have accused the DA of hypocrisy, claiming they are attempting to carry out their own version of cadre deployment.

The DA requested that the ANC submit cadre deployment data to demonstrate that they did not hire individuals based on personal connections.

In response, Richard Newton of the DA claimed that there was a distinction to be made between hiring someone because they are related and hiring someone who is qualified for the job.

To clarify, he informed IOL that all of their demands would be accepted by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“There is also the proviso in this letter that selected candidates are submitted to the President for approval,” according to him.

According to Newton, their drive to pick the finest person for the job, whoever that may be, differed significantly from the ANC cadre deployment.

According to him, the ANC would assign incompetent individuals to ministries that had already failed.

ANC spokesman Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri told IOL that they had taken note of the DA’s requests, but that it was too early because President Cyril Ramaphosa had yet to announce his cabinet.

“The president should be allowed space and time to make the pronouncement on constituting his cabinet as it is his constitutional responsibility,” according to her.

Dr Kagiso “TK” Pooe, a public policy specialist at the Wits School of Governance, told IOL that all political parties throughout the world, including the DA in the Western Cape or wherever they govern, use trusted bureaucrats to wield strategic power.

According to Pooe, the ANC abused the notion and practice of deployment, claiming that they deployed comrades rather than cadres.

“In the late 1990s and 2000s, the quality of Director Generals and the pipeline of leadership were better and stronger; however, the ANC long stopped looking for the best and brightest, which is why parties like the DA criticize it.

“However, as evidenced by their recent demands, they are not opposed to putting their favorite candidates in office. So the issue is not deployment, but rather allowing the system to absorb the best and brightest and then resolving the tension between political leaders and technocrats,” he remarked.

According to political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe, the ANC’s selected DGs are not trustworthy to carry out the mandate of a new executive/political authority due to cadre deployment.

However, Seepe stated that the DA considers itself to have a copyright over what constitutes professionalism.

“Having projected itself as a custodian of political morality, it sees no contradiction between what it proposes and what the ANC has practised over the years,” he claimed.

He went on to say that this would create a conundrum for Ramaphosa because the career episodes involving DGs occurred in his office.

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