Essay on the Governance Issues in South Africa under Zuma's Regime

4 pages
982 words
Boston College
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The State of Capture report reveals a wide range of governance issues that have seemed to cripple governance under Zuma's regime. In general, the report expounds on various evidences that prove the States state of capture, whereby, certain powerful individuals and persons affiliated to the Presidents family have appeared to effect a considerable amount influence on the countrys governance. More specifically, the serious governance issues presented in the report have been attributed to influence from an extremely wealthy family, the Gupta family, which has collapsed the effectiveness of the rule of law and government structure to a similar extent.

According to the report, corruption has been a serious governance issue in South Africa. The incumbents in governmental offices have been reported to collude with wealthy individuals to privatize governance in the country. This has been evidenced in the appointment of public servants and in the awarding of government tenders, which according to the report was done in skewed manner and with less regard to constitutionalism and the rule of law in general. Ideal governance as conceptualized in a democratic society is expected to depict public interest and an inherent tendency to comply with the law. However, this has not been the case in South Africa as detailed in the State of Capture report. This is so because holders of public offices have been found to go against the very principles that put them into office. Once installed through a democratic process, the South African government proceeded to appoint officials on subjective terms, which reflected a vested will and intent to channel public resources to individuals and not the electorate as would be expected in an ideal democratic state. This is a serious governance issue because interests of the citizens as enshrined under the constitution were subjected to utter violation as described in the report.

One key element of governance in democratic states as would be expected in a country like South Africa is the equitable distribution of resources, whereby, public assets and resources are expected to be employed in a way that benefits all and not specific individuals or communities. This however, has not been the case in South Africa especially in the distribution of resourceful job opportunities and appointments for public offices. For instance, the report details that a few individuals affiliated to the executive had the power to control how the treasury operated, and more specifically, how public finances were managed at the peril of the public. The Gupta Family as the major puppeteer appears to have had the power to influence the hiring and firing or holders of public offices in South Africa. The report further provides evidence that the family conspired with appointed ministers to loot funds, and to also effect a skewed resource distribution pattern in their respective dockets. This is spells a serious governance issue since public officers and leaders have not met their expectations as per the constitution and will of the citizens. It is also an indication of poor governance since public interest goes unattended to; in fact, governance has worked to limit the rights of the very citizens that had it erected.

Corruption has been painted as a major governance issue in South Africa. The report has shed light into substantive evidence that links the executive and ministers to corrupt deeds and operations in their government offices. According to the report for instance, the President had conspired with the Gupta Family to defraud millions from the ministry of finance by appointing persons who could play ball. Such acts are a clear indication of a rot in governance, which has a detrimental effect on constitutionalism and the overall development in a country. What makes this urgent and extremely serious is the fact that the executive was directly involved, as he played a hand in furthering corrupt deeds and weakening any attempts to eliminate the corruption that had been rooted in the various ministries that are implicated in the State of Capture report. In addition, the evidence provided in the report further indicates that corruption has been a governance issue since the inception of the Zuma government, which, may be credited for the declining economic growth and development in the country.

The report reveals that appointment of ministers and other holders of public office was determined by their level of compliance, particularly by the way they had demonstrated it in their previous functions as public servants, and for them to gain approval they had to further demonstrate willingness to participate in the theft of public funds and benefit from the loot without question. This is a governance issue since it further reveals the level of private interest that exists in the South African government. Under ideal governance, it is expected that holders of public office operate in accordance to their discretion but in line with the constitution and public interest. According to details provided in the report, his has not been the case in the current South African government. Ministers are have been hired and fired indiscriminately and with less regard to legal processes as enshrined under the constitution. As such, the ability of certain ministries to function according to legal expectations has not been achieved in the country. According to the deputy finance minister, Mr Jonas, the Gupta Family and the executive had colluded to fire the previous finance ministers for failure of compliance, and in the course of governance, had managed to amass millions from the ministry for the private entities. In addition, the deputy minister further pointed out that for him to have attained the seemingly lucrative position he had to meet the compliance expectations from the president and the Gupta family. This implies that corruption in the ministry had been well established and safeguarded by the executive and the powerful allies who would have gone to any extent to have their wishes met and pockets filled from the public funds.


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