Pravin Gordhan is not feared – ANC boss Fikile Mbalula

Luthuli House boss Fikile Mbalula says Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is not above the ANC and will be held accountable like all ministers.

This after Gordhan was summoned to the national executive committee (NEC) meeting at the weekend to account about “concerns” at state-owned entities (SOEs).

At the meeting, Gordhan apparently gave an unsatisfactory report and is due to be grilled again in the near future.

The posture he took at the NEC meeting gave rise to questions that ANC leaders were in fact scared of holding him accountable.

However Mbalula, addressing the media at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Wednesday, said the ANC leadership is not sacred of Gordan.

The firebrand ANC secretary-general said the governing party remains concerned about the decay of several SOEs and would get to the bottom of the problems.

“We have received reports in relation to matters of SOEs. Pravin Gordhan as a minister of the ANC is not feared. No other minister is feared,” said Mbalula.

“If there is chaos at Transnet, who must account? [It is] the minister of public enterprises, and that department in the long term is going to diminish, it must be taken holistically.

“We do not fear anyone. Ministers are held to account. Even Pravin, because he did not feel good when I say move or be moved.

“I had to clarify, I did not say move from the cabinet, I said move faster or we will push you to move.”

Mbalula said the focus was not only on Gordhan as the NEC was holding every minister accountable on their service delivery mandates.

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu and her communications counterpart Mondli Gungubele were also read the riot act by the NEC for the “glitches” in social grant payments by Post Bank.

According to Mbalula, the duo had explained that the problem was resolved.

Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu was also grilled over water challenges, and he explained himself.

Transport Minister Sindi Chikunga, charged Mbalula, was also forced to account on the mess with commuter trains.

She explained interventions to be implemented including the deployment of 8 000 security personnel to guard the rail network from vandalism.

Mbalula said the NEC was also concerned about the chaos at municipalities, with 30 of them under the ANC classified as “dysfunctional”.

In this regard, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Thembi Nkadimeng, was taken to task by the NEC, and she presented her plan of action.

Mbalula said the time for ministers running amok with impunity is never going to happen under his watch, saying they all know this.

“Ministers are being evaluated and will be evaluated. After the list has been finalised and the ANC wins government, there will be proper analysis over the performance of ministers.

“At the moment, we are not only putting pressure but we are holding our government accountable in terms of service delivery.

“Our agenda has zero squabbles, we fight about delivery fiercely and we tell ministers where to get off,” Mbalula said.

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