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Analysis of and commentary on South African politics from a liberal perspective. Winner: Best Political Blog 2012.

Tag: Auditor-General

A poor DA statement that misrepresents the facts


InsidePoliticsFEATURE: The DA today released a statement severely criticising the Minister of Sport for the amount to be spent on the 2013 South African Sports Awards ceremony. But, while the total has increased, the amount of public money allocated has actually decreased. The DA seems to have ignored this fact, however, and slammed the Minister regardless. It’s a good example of bad news triumphing over good and a disingenuous position as a result.

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Petrol price increase “indefensible”: ANC


SERIES: A good quote can hold within it a thousand separate insights, just as surely as some poorly constructed thought can reveal someone as a fool. Quotable Quotes looks at what is said, what was said and, on occasion, how the two compare. A lot of people forget but the ANC was once in opposition – from 1990, when it was un-banned, to South Africa’s first democratic election, in April 1994. Perhaps not formally elected but, for that period of time and in the run-up to 94, it assumed the role. Here are a few quotes from the ANC back then. I wonder how the ANC has held up in government against the standard it set when it was in opposition?

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The sad decline of the Sunday Times I


FEATURE: Over the past decade or so, the Sunday Times has suffered sustained damage to its reputation, as number of internal problems manifested in a series of external crises, most of which revolved around stories that were simply not up to scratch. In 2009, I wrote about two such examples, the first of which follows below. Essentially the newspaper served up a seven week old story as if it were breaking news, ignoring everything that had been said about it up to that point in doing so.

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TARGET MIDVAAL: How the ANC is using the state to target its political opponent


FEATURE: Following the Public Protector’s investigation into the DA-run Midvaal municipality, which found no corruption, President Zuma signed a proclamation authorising the Special Investigations Unit to investigate the exact same charges, except on a grander scale. Midvaal is by some distance the outstanding performer in Gauteng. Why has the President himself deemed it fit for the SIU to investigate Midvaal and not other ANC-run municipalities in Gauteng which, on the exact same criteria Midvaal is being investigated on, fail catastrophically to measure up? The evidence suggests a political agenda. Read on to see the extent of the bias.

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How cadre deployment has brought Buffalo City to its knees


FEATURE: Did you know Buffalo City has been without a chief financial officer for more than 1 000 days or that, in the last three years, it has had four executive mayors and six municipal managers? Little wonder its financial management has collapsed over the last five years, to the point where the province has threatened to strip it of its powers. The primary reason: cadre deployment and politicisation of a municipality that, just five years ago, received a financially unqualified report from the Auditor-General.

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Mangaung: The ANC’s shame


FEATURE: The ANC has spent much time over the past six months waxing lyrical about the deep significance of Mangaung and the Free State to the party, as it celebrates its 100 anniversary. But an overview of the way in which local government has been managed by the party suggests a different attitude. Indeed, so fundamentally mismanaged is the Free State, if anything the ANC owes its people an apology. What follows is a general overview of the way in which the various local authorities in the Free State – and Mangaung in particular – have performed according to the reports of the Auditor-General. It makes for disturbing reading and, I would argue, leads one to the inevitable conclusion that, if the ANC owes anything to the Free State, it is an explanation.

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How Midvaal delivers more to the poor than ANC-run councils


FEATURE: Every municipality is required by national legislation to implement an indigent policy. If someone registers as indigent, they receive from their local government a package of rebates for basic services such as water and electricity. With regard to income, the set minimum is R2 280 – earn less than that amount and you can qualify as indigent. But municipalities can set the threshold higher. Midvaal boasts the highest threshold in Gauteng. And the reason it is able to do that is because it runs the most efficient administration in the province too: proof that good governance is the key to effective poverty relief programmes.

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