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Deputy President Mashatile Defends ANC's Cadre Deployment in NCOP Amid Controversy

Published March 13, 2024
2 months ago

The ongoing debate over the African National Congress's (ANC) cadre deployment policy sparked a stout defense from Deputy President Paul Mashatile during a National Council of Provinces (NCOP) session in Cape Town. Amidst the intense scrutiny that the party's practice has attracted, Mashatile underscored that the ANC does not feel "embarrassed" by its methods of filling strategic positions in the public sector with party affiliates.

Cadre deployment, a controversial policy whereby the ruling party appoints individuals from its ranks to various roles in the public service, made its way into the agenda unexpectedly when Democratic Alliance (DA) member Cathlene Labuschagne broached the topic. Labuschagne questioned the success of service delivery and skills development in light of the policy and how these deployments might be correlating with the notable failures in service provision. This interrogation comes in the wake of recent legal orders instructing the ANC to disclose its cadre deployment records, a victory for the DA's long-standing opposition to the policy.

Deputy President Mashatile, chairing the ANC’s deployment committee and as such heavily involved in the practice, responded to the criticism by asserting the qualifications of the deployed individuals. He claimed that the ANC's approach was constructed to ensure that only appropriately skilled professionals are positioned in vital roles within government, many of whom have received their education at elite international institutions.

This defense arises despite the policy often being blamed for maladministration and undermining the meritocratic principles of public service employment. Mashatile's justifications aim to reiterate the party's stance that those selected for deployment bring a wealth of expertise and experience that ultimately benefits the nation's governance.

The cadre deployment strategy continues to be a polarizing issue within South African politics, igniting debates around the intersections of party loyalty, government efficiency, and the integrity of service delivery. The ANC's approach will likely remain under close observation as public and legal pressure persists.

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