Ex-President Mbeki: Zuma’s Government Lacks Cohesion

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Former President Thabo Mbeki has once again raised his concern over President Jacob Zuma’s government which he described as a “confederation of ministers”.

During an interview with a radio station, Power FM, on Thursday, Mbeki described Zuma’s government as one which is faced with many problems due to lack of “cohesion” between himself and his minister.

Read Also: I Have a Problem With This Government- Mbeki

He outlined how the government is run by saying that unlike what is seen in Zuma’s government, a typical government is one that its president who is also the head of state and of government understands the role of chairing Cabinet meetings, where he deals with memoranda submitted by various ministers in order to take decisions that do not contradict each other.

“So you must be able as chair to deal with all Cabinet memoranda, otherwise you don’t have government because then you don’t have a centre that can hold. So that what you come up with is a government Cabinet decision,” Thabo Mbeki explained, adding that if this is not done, the government will lack orderliness.

“If you don’t do that, it then becomes individual ministerial decisions. So instead of having a Cabinet, you will have what I once called a federation of ministries, and Trevor [Manuel] here corrected me and said a ‘confederation of ministries’. We need to work on that so that we have a necessary cohesion in government.”

Contradiction Between Ministries of Home Affairs and Tourism: Mbeki cited the contradiction between the ministries of home affairs and tourism over the visa application issues as a good picture of the disunity in Zuma’s government.

Finance minister’s “14-point inclusive growth economic action plan”:  He said the Finance minister Malusi Gigaba’s recent announcement of a “14-point inclusive growth economic action plan” meant to tackle South Africa’s current economic challenges.   he said it was the job of the minister of economic affairs or trade and industry to do so.

“You had the minister of finance today making a speech on what needs to be done and I was surprised that it was the minister of finance who’s going to make a plan about how to regenerate this economy … it has nothing to do with the minister of finance. I would have expected the minister of economic affairs or trade and industry to do so,” Mbeki said.

The National Development Plan (NDP): Former president Mbeki explained that the National Development Plan is not a plan but a vision which needed to be elaborated into an achievable plan. We need to take the NDP and elaborate a plan to achieve these objectives outlined in the NDP. I don’t sense that there is any work being done to implement it. Let’s elaborate an implementation plan out the NDP and that might get us somewhere,” Thabo Mbeki said.



“We need to take the NDP and elaborate a plan to achieve these objectives outlined in the NDP. I don’t sense that there is any work being done to implement it. Let’s elaborate an implementation plan out the NDP and that might get us somewhere,” Mbeki said.

Speaking on the controversies over white monopoly,  the former president dismissed the suggestion that it was South Africa’s main enemy.

“So when somebody comes to you to say the principal enemy of the national democratic revolution is white monopoly capital and things like that. I know the role of monopoly capital,” Mbeki said.

“Who is this enemy? You’re obliged to say the Rupert’s and others,” he added.

Thabo Mbeki was being interviewed by Power FM’s Given Mkhari in front of an audience that included political figures and heads of state-owned enterprises. Among them was former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, trade unionist Zwelinzima Vavi, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leadership and Telkom chief executive Sipho Maseko.

Read Also: Mbeki, Nzimande At Loggerheads Over Leadership Slurs

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has once referred to the contradictions in his government as a means of moving forward.

He said the differences leaders have in South Africa should not impact on putting the country and its people first.

Addressing the cloud hanging over his party, the ANC, due to fractions within the movement, he said there was always a possibility of disagreement and top leaders disagreeing or being at loggerheads over a number of issues, were signs of political development for South Africa.

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