DA submits End Cadre Deployment Bill to Zondo Commission

Issued by Dr Leon Schreiber MP – DA Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration
06 Feb 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Dr Leon Schreiber MP.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has submitted a copy of our End Cadre Deployment Bill to the State Capture Commission for consideration as the Commission draws up the final of its three reports. We are encouraged by the recommendations already contained in the second report, which suggest assigning appointing powers in the public sector to an independent body, thereby preventing the ANC from continuing to deploy the corrupt cadres who captured our state. In the spirit of cooperation and finding holistic solutions, the DA has submitted our Bill to the Commission to ensure that it is aware of the proposed legislative approach we have already put on the parliamentary agenda.

The End Cadre Deployment Bill is scheduled to be discussed by the portfolio committee on public service and administration at the end of March, which provides the perfect opportunity for Parliament to begin immediately implementing the State Capture Report’s recommendations.

In its second report, the Commission correctly indicated that “it would be completely unacceptable to allow this situation to continue as before without any change in how members of Boards of SOEs, Chief Executive Officers and Chief Financial Officers are appointed.” The Commission also undertook to provide, in its final report, details about the body that “will be tasked with the identification, recruitment and selection of the right kind of people who will be considered for appointment.”

It is a very promising development that the Commission hereby publicly supports the DA’s long-held principle that politicians should not have absolute power to control civil service appointments. Since the start of the Commission’s work, the DA has strongly argued that cadre deployment is the foundation of state capture because it gives the ANC the unconstitutional power to appoint public servants on the basis of political loyalty rather than merit. If we want to eradicate state capture, we therefore have to make it impossible for political parties to appoint cadres rather than competent professionals.

Consistent with the principle outlined by the Commission, the DA’s End Cadre Deployment Bill will make it a crime to appointment anyone on the basis of political loyalty rather than merit and will direct the Public Service Commission (PSC) to ensure that all appointments are based strictly on merit. The Bill would also reform the PSC to make it far more independent, make it illegal for any office-holder in a political party to work in a government department, and give the PSC the power to take remedial action against corrupt officials.

The second Zondo Report provides promising signs that the Commission wishes to expand the principle outlined in the DA’s Bill to also cover state-owned enterprises. At the moment, the mandate of the PSC is limited to national and provincial government departments. It therefore makes sense to either expand the powers of a reformed and independent PSC, or to create a new institution which similarly manages appointments in other state entities.

The DA drafted the End Cadre Deployment Bill because it is in the national interest to bring an end to cadre deployment. We therefore welcome all constructive recommendations and eagerly look forward to the State Capture Commission’s final recommendations.

The way in which other political parties, including the ANC, supported the DA’s motion to investigate the possible impeachment of the Public Protector shows that it similarly possible to unite in Parliament to end cadre deployment and state capture. We hope that other political parties will similarly prioritise national interest over self-interest by helping us refine and ultimately adopt the End Cadre Deployment Bill in Parliament.