The ANC doesn't get it. Yesterday we posted about racism in the police farce that makes working in the service as appealing for minorities as sitting on a cactus.
Another area experiencing severe problems is municipalities. They are allocated billions of rands that sits idle for the simple reason that they just do not know how to spend it, besides having piss-ups and overseas junkets which they've turned into an art form.
But 'tis the new era of ZUMA. Ta ra ta ra, in comes the esteemed new munista for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (que..?) on a mission to solve the crisis. He sticks out his chest and promises all skilled vacancies will be filled within five years. No ifs, ands or effing maybes. Because you see, and this is the clever part, he has figured out why there is a skills shortage. No, it's not affirmative action, not BEE, not the stupefying inflexible labour laws, nope, it's whitey's fault. Yep, whitey's doing it to the black man again.
Y'see, whitey still has an apartheid mentality. And by "apartheid mentality", the munista means white workers who do not want to give of their time to mentor the blek wekkas so the blek wekkas can replace them. Now an un-apartheid worker would be selfless, forget the need to eat or pay his mortgage, he would willingly happily train the blek wekkas and then step aside to join the unemployed. Tsk. So easy. What is wrong with whitey?
Tito Mboweni gets it though. At a breakfast meeting in Johannesburg in October 2006 reported in the Financial Mail, Mboweni said: "I have sought to recruit many competent black people, and no sooner have we trained them than they leave. I get so upset! I am stopping this recruitment of black people. I am okay with my Afrikaners. They stay and do the work." That's it in a nutshell. It's not nuclear physics. Oh wait...
The shortage of skills in municipalities will be a thing of the past in five years, says Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka.
Shiceka said he had put together a team to develop a plan to address the skills scarcity in local government. "We require artisans at a municipal level, boilermakers, engineers, planners and financial managers."
He said the government could not afford to rely on retired engineers for assistance.
"The retired engineers we have ... but they have apartheid mentality. And they are not helping in terms of what needs to be done and new challenges."
Delays in service delivery, especially in rural provinces, have been blamed on the scarcity of skills. National government interventions, including Project Consolidate, have so far failed to yield any noticeable results.
Shiceka said his ministry had been given the responsibility of co-ordinating co-operation between all spheres of government. He said the most important thing was to make sure local government functioned smoothly, and the was no discord.
There were instances where local and district municipalities that served the same communities had different programmes and plans. "They waste money and they waste resources.... Those are the things that I say we need to correct and we need to address."