DA pushes ahead with bill to end ANC’s cadre deployment

In a dazzling display of political tango, the ANC and its opposition seem to have developed an unquenchable thirst for courtroom drama with the governing party clutching its cadre deployment records and policies like state secrets.

DA MP Leon Schreiber has announced that the party will table its end cadre deployment bill in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

According to Schreiber, the proposed legislation, officially known as the public administration laws general amendment bill, seeks to overhaul the current system of political appointments.

These political appointments, according to the DA, will be replaced with merit-based recruitment in the public sector.

Schreiber stressed the importance of the bill, stating that any party that would oppose the bill would be exposing their inclination to corruption.

“Any political party that votes against the end cadre deployment bill will expose itself as an enabler of systemic corruption that has plagued South Africa,” he said.

“There is simply no logical reason to oppose merit-based appointments and criminalising cadre deployment unless complicit in this crime against the people.”

Key provisions of the bill include:

  • Criminalising interference: Making it a criminal offence to interfere in public sector appointment processes, thereby preventing political meddling in appointments.
  • Prohibiting political office bearers: Restricting political office bearers from seeking employment within the public service and reinforcing the separation between political and administrative roles.
  • Ending special service benefits: Eliminating special service benefits for directors-general and heads of department dismissed from the public service.
  • Empowering the Public Service Commission: Enhancing its financial and administrative independence and entrusting it with the mandate to enforce merit-based appointments, free from political interference.

“The DA calls on all MPs who want to rescue South Africa to vote for the bill by rejecting the ANC majority on the portfolio committee on public service and administration’s report.

“Despite strong public support for the bill, including from reputable civil society organisations, the committee report irrationally designates the end cadre deployment bill as ‘undesirable’,” said Schreiber. 

Court duel

Earlier in September, the ANC suffered a legal setback when the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled against the party’s attempt to keep its cadre deployment records confidential.

The party has been facing mounting pressure to disclose these records following a high court ruling that declared its refusal as “unlawful and invalid”.

It was reported last week that the ANC is now heading to the Constitutional Court to ask it to protect its records from being handed over to the DA.

The records encompass a range of documents including minutes from the cadre deployment committee, WhatsApp conversations, e-mails, and CVs.

The DA has argued that the records are crucial for shedding light on how ANC policies and practices influenced key appointments within state institutions.

Schreiber initiated the legal proceedings after his Promotion of Access to Information Act application for the release of cadre deployment records was denied in 2021.

He asserted that the ANC’s cadre deployment policy played a significant role in fostering corruption and state capture, making transparency in this matter paramount to the public.

As MPs are set to assemble to consider the DA’s bill, they are faced with a momentous decision.

The outcome will undoubtedly shape the future of the country’s public sector, determining whether merit-based appointments will replace political patronage in the quest for better and more efficient service delivery and reduced corruption.


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