If our new President is serious

If the Presdent is seriousTAC welcomes resignation of former President Zuma – urges new Acting President Ramaphosa to initiate bold reforms

JOHANNESBURG, 15th FEBRUARY 2018 – The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcomes the resignation of Jacob Zuma as President of South Africa. Under Zuma’s disastrous Presidency key state institutions have been weakened, unemployment has risen, and corruption and mismanagement has flourished.

As TAC, we have in recent years seen first-hand how widespread corruption and mismanagement have compromised service delivery to people dependent on the public healthcare system – especially in the Free State, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Underperforming and uncommitted Premiers and MECs for Health have often been rendered untouchable due to their political connections. We consider the Life Esidimeni tragedy, the victimisation of the #BopheloHouse94, and the oncology crisis in KZN, amongst others, to be the direct symptoms of this degradation of the state brought about by Zuma.

We have no illusions about the massive task ahead of South Africa’s new Acting President Cyril Ramaphosa, the team around him and our society more broadly. Our healthcare and education systems both remain deeply dysfunctional. Unemployment rates remain unacceptably high and South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world.

In the coming weeks, we will be looking for signs that Acting President Ramaphosa is serious about addressing these foundational crises facing our society.

·       If Acting President Ramaphosa is serious he will reduce the size of the current bloated Cabinet by at least 20% and bring an end to the policy and culture of cadre-deployment.

·       If Acting President Ramaphosa is serious he will remove the following grossly underperforming and/or suspiciously corrupt Ministers from office:

–        Bathabile Dlamini (Social Development)
–        Des Van Rooyen (Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs)
–        Mosebenzi Zwane (Mineral Resources)
–        Lynne Brown (Public Enterprises)
–        Faith Muthambi (Public Service and Administration)
–        Malusi Gigaba (Finance)
–        David Mahlobo (Energy)
–        Nomvula Mokonyane (Water and Sanitation)
–        Bongani Bongo (State Security)
–        Nathi Mthethwa (Arts and Culture)
–        Mmamoloko Kubayi (Communications)
–        Hlengiwe Mkhize (Higher Education)
–        Ayanda Dlodlo (Home Affairs)
–        Fikile Mbalula (Police)
–        Nkosinathi Nhleko (Public Works)
–        Siyabonga Cwele (Telecommunications and Postal Services)
–        Susan Shabangu (Women in the Presidency)

·       If Acting President Ramaphosa is serious he will take steps to ensure that no public officials, Premiers or MECs implicated in corruption are allowed to stay in their positions.

We will also be looking for concrete signs that Acting President Ramaphosa is serious about reforming the South African Revenue Service, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Office of the Public Protector and the HAWKS. Investigations and prosecutions must continue against all persons implicated in state capture and corruption. No secret deals must be negotiated or amnesty given to any Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premiers, heads of state owned enterprises, members of the Gupta family, or any senior government officials. It is essential that those guilty of corruption must be held accountable to the full extent of the law given that their actions have betrayed the public and that failure to prosecute them will further perpetuate the cycle of corruption.

As TAC, we have had constructive engagements with Acting President Ramaphosa in his capacities as Deputy President and head of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC). We urge Acting President Ramaphosa to keep his door open to civil society and not to allow himself to become as isolated from the people as Zuma.

As TAC, we remain committed to constructive engagement with government and doing everything we can to bring an end to the ongoing crisis in our public healthcare system.

We also note that Acting President Ramaphosa will no longer be the head of SANAC – a position reserved for the Deputy President. We urge the new Acting Deputy President to prioritise their responsibilities as head of SANAC and, to address the ongoing governance crisis at SANAC.

We acknowledge and thank the many committed public servants who have resisted and blown the whistle on corruption and state capture. It is with the example and leadership of these committed public servants that we should rebuild the public service.

We also thank and acknowledge those journalists who have done their job without fear or favour and with an unwavering commitment to the truth and the public interest.

For more information and to arrange interviews contact:

Media liaison:
Lotti Rutter | lotti.rutter@tac.org.za | 072 225 9675