New structure will not duplicate work - Chabane

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cape Town - Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane has rejected the view that the new structure in government would lead to a duplication of work.

Mr Chabane, who is responsible for performance monitoring, evaluation and administration, which falls under the Presidency, said people should allow the administration to execute its mandate.

The minister was outlining the macro-structure of the new government at a press briefing in Cape Town on Wednesday.

President Jacob Zuma announced his new Cabinet on 10 May which saw major changes to the structure of government. Among the changes was the creation of the National Planning Commission (NPC) to be headed by Minister Trevor Manuel, and a unit to monitor and evaluate the performance of government in all three spheres, to be headed by Minister Chabane.

Mr Chabane said there would be no duplication of work with the NPC.

The commission aims to accelerate government's efforts to boost the economy, reduce poverty and ensure smooth infrastructure development with his unit or other economic portfolios.

Mr Chabane explained that the NPC would go a long way to drive policy implementation and delivery outside the bureaucratic constraints of government departments and their fragmentation according to line functions.

He told the media that the NPC would be responsible for strategic planning for the country which would also ensure that there was one National Plan to which all spheres of government would adhere.

Mr Chabane said his office would be dealing with public points of delivery while ensuring that the government delivers quality services as promised during the ruling party's 2009 General Election campaign.

The state's efforts to improve government performance in the past has been hampered by several things, including a deficit in scarce skills, lack of co-ordination, ineffective politicians and poor systems.

He said it was one of the reasons his unit was formed.

"Monitoring becomes important because we have targets to meet. Often people say government has good policies, but no capacity - so the monitoring body will ensure that these good policies are being implemented and reach the people on the ground," he explained.

However, the minister acknowledged that his task would not be an easy one and he hoped that his colleagues would be cooperative.

"If you look at the Auditor General, everyone has to account. I don't see why it would be any different when it comes to what I have to do in order to assess performance and effectiveness," Minister Chabane said.

He warned that while no one's authority in the Cabinet should be undermined, there would be consequences for non-performers.

The new administration had a responsibility to make South Africa work and it was under pressure to show visible change -especially at provincial and local government level, said Mr Chabane.