Inside Jacob Zuma's cabinet and departmental churn

Monday's Business Day editorial refers to a new report released by the Institute of Race Relations which reveals the extent of the chaos and instability of the President Jacob Zuma administration.

The Business Day reports: The report tracks the churn at the top of the government, measuring how long Cabinet and director-general posts are occupied by the same person and the length of time the same minister and head of department will, on average, spend working together.

Gareth Van Onselen, Columnist and Political Researcher says cabinet reshuffles by their nature are made public but the changes to director generals are often done far more surreptitiously.

They are announced by cabinet and they are not properly tracked and regulated and when you go into that kind of thing there is a huge amount of turmoil, possibly more even with regards to ministers.

Gareth Van Onselen, Columnist and Political Researcher

Van Onselen goes on to say that an average length of time for a relationship between a minister and director general is only fourteen months. There have been two hundred and fifteen of these relationships between thirty-eight department, which means each department is going through about seven such relationships under Zuma over the last eight years, explains Van Onselen.

Read: Mbete approves secret ballot

Ideally you want a department to have a minister who has a clear political vision for that department and a director general who is able to implement that vision and manage the departments finances and procurements.

Gareth Van Onselen, Columnist and Political Researcher

Van Onselen warns that if those two things are constantly changing, then that creates uncertainty of policies, as seen in the department of communications, which has seen fourteen of these relationships.

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