If anyone should win the prize for playing musical chairs in South African politics its the President.
Since 2009, President Jacob Zuma has turned over his cabinet 11 times resulting in 126 changes to the executive, and overseen the appointment of 172 directors-general.
The Institute of Race Relations, (IRR) says in a report released today entitled “Political musical chairs: Turnover in the national executive and administration since 2009” that in 100 months of the Zuma administration:
• He made 126 changes to the executive = 62 changes to ministerial positions, 63 changes to deputy ministerial positions, and one change to the deputy presidency;
• Only 11 people from the 2009 executive remain;
• 172 directors-general were appointed across 38 departments;
• On average a director-general only served 22 months before he/she is replaced;
• Of the 215 DG and ministerial relationships created, 59.1% lasted less than a year, and 89 of the 215 included acting directors-general; and
• That 14 months is the average lifespan of the DG and ministerial relationship
The IRR commissioned political consultant and columnist, Gareth van Onselen, to conduct the analysis. He says: “This is not how you manage a national government, it is how to sew chaos, uncertainty and disorder and, it would seem, Jacob Zuma has perfected that particular art… In any national government department leadership resides in two parallel authorities: the national minister and the director-general. Each of these roles must work closely with the other in order to deliver on a mandate.”
Van Onselen concludes that “this analysis lifts the veil on an administration that is as compromised ethically as it is with regard to expertise.”