Government lacks capacity to implement policies: Nomusa Dube-Ncube

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There is a shortage of capacity across all spheres of government, leading to the uneven implementation of policies.

This is according to KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube who gave the keynote address on the National Development Plan and State Capacity Conference under way in Durban.

The conference brings together a variety of stakeholders working in the field of state capacity and government performance, including academics, researchers, public servants and government leaders.

Delegates have heard that in order for a democracy to work, all institutions of government must function effectively. They’ve also been told that a failure in this regard, may result in citizens believing that democracy is not working and they will likely revolt.

Dube-Ncube says the skills gap that leads to weak accountability and persistent corruption, emanating from the leadership skills deficit, is resulting in missed opportunities.

“To get good government, you must have good people in charge of the government. At this conference, we are confronting challenges of uneven implementation that arises clearly out of the capacity and inadequacy of the state manifest in uneven outcomes at local, provincial and national.”

She adds that government takes for granted that there is capacity at the national level, but she has been trying to raise the alarm about the shortage of capacity across the spheres of government.

Speakers at the conference say central to the attainment of the developmental objectives, is the capacity of the state, proper deployment of resources, measurement, monitoring and evaluation of its performance.

Acting Public Protector, Kholeka Gcaleka, says the Public Protector Act is being amended to ensure that the office’s remedial actions for wrongdoing get implemented.

“An important development that is coming through that, the government needs to start digesting is that we are amending the Public Protector Act to include that failure to implement our remedial action will result in contempt, which would be the same as the failure to adhere to our subpoena where we will actually lay criminal charges against state institutions,” says Gcaleka.

Gcaleka added that state institutions are juristic persons that can be charged, and says further that as has been seen before those entrusted with power within these institutions have had to take face charges for the institution.

The conference is informed by the 10-year anniversary of the adoption of the National Development Plan (NDP) in 2012. The NDP is a vehicle designed to strengthen democracy, by ensuring South Africa has a functional government and a capable state.