Thursday, January 17, 2019
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Defence and Public Enterprises ministers score poorly on DA report card

D for Defence Minister on DA report cardThe performance of Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in the past Parliamentary year earned her a “D” in the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party’s annual government report card.

She gets this score along with four other Cabinet ministers and there are only two who earned a higher rating – C – the highest given this year by the official opposition.

At the bottom of the DA list on “F” is President Jacob Zuma, who is also commander-in-chief of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

The DA report card says of Mapisa-Nqakula that her year “can be characterised by absences in committee meetings and over-inflated budgets for no visible reason. While the parachuting in of ‘Colonel’ Molefe understandably would not have been cheap, it can hardly justify the additional R1 billion requested for human resource remuneration in the medium term budget, or the over expenditure on VIP air travel.”

The authors finalised their report card ahead of the unheralded release of the Department of Defence 2016/17 annual report late in November so their observation that “nobody can truly say where the money will be going” is not entirely apt. Given that the document will come up for discussion at the end of January – two months before the end of the next financial cycle – makes it even more dated.

Mapisa-Nqakula also doesn’t rate near the top of the class when it comes to answering questions posed in Parliament.

The DA 2017 Parliamentary Review shows she has answered just over half (57%) of the 80 questions posed to her in the National Assembly. She shares this percentage with International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane as the two worst responding Cabinet ministers. Next worst in answering MPs questions is Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Des van Rooyen, with a 30% no response.

Department of Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown, earned an “F” in the report card which states “the single biggest failure has been the captured, ineffective and silent Minister, who is responsible for the appointment of board members for key State-owned entities Denel, Alexkor, Transnet, SA Express, Eskom and Safcol. Eskom, Transnet and Denel, through these boards, have been deeply embroiled in State Capture, with the alleged looting of billions of rand through corrupt procurement and consulting tenders reliably linked to the Gupta-Zuma nexus”.