Probably the most overused phrase in the limited ANC lexicon apart from ‘provincial (or similar) structures’ or ‘loyal cadres’, is the phrase, ‘turnaround strategy’. I was reminded of this by a newspaper report of 2 March on the Limpopo State of the Province Address (SOPA) debate that ended as a shouting match when the corrupt ANC and the immature EFF were literally at each other’s throats. The Roads Agency Limpopo (RAL) had revealed to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) that documents relating to R1.1 billion in irregular expenditure had disappeared from the agency’s offices in Polokwane. A dog ate my homework moment. So what’s new: the massive irregular expenditure, the loss of documents or the excuse?
The RAL was ordered to sort their document mess out and present a ‘turnaround strategy’!
Now we have the Post Office which has admitted to having a R8 billion hole in their finances. The old Post Office never shot the lights out. It wasn’t like the Royal Post Office where a letter posted in the morning would arrive with the afternoon postal delivery. Nevertheless, ours was reliable, cheap and secure. Only the most urgent documents were delivered by courier. Although the long downward process started early on, this really got kickstarted by the complete shutdown by strike action of the Jet Park warehouse hub for months in 2014. In mid-March the Post Office presented to Parliament its latest turnaround strategy in a hopeful document entitled, Post Office of Tomorrow. Humph!
The public are sick of these interminable turnaround strategies which begin with the appointment of a new Board, a completely new suite of executives with their completely new office suites, who in turn appoint, without the mandated recruitment processes, a coterie of fools, family members, bae’s and ben10’s, people they owe favours to and some just for luck to make up numbers. Few are qualified to do the job or are indeed interested. They make a lot of promises and initiate some grand unthought-through and overpriced projects while they skim and take backhanders in Louis Vuitton handbags. When it soon turns to guano, the turnstile strategy kicks in. It’s out with the old and in with the new while the newly jobless are buffed up, retreaded and redeployed elsewhere in the state machinery to continue their work of destruction and corruption.
Rinse and repeat.