LETTER: Fraud is everywhere, incompetence not
Patronage machine was not what our constitution envisaged to aid the poor
We should not be in the least surprised by reports in the media of “sports complexes” that are nothing but a fence; “water tanks” that don’t exist; asbestos roof “audits” costing hundreds of millions, and so on.
The world over, governments award billions in contracts. The world over, they are awarded according to business principles. This does not mean that there is no fraud or political influence — but at least real companies with real experience compete for the work.
Not so in SA. Broad-based BEE has in many (not all) instances wrecked the playing field. Political connection, not competence is the criterion. The template is discarded. There is nothing to measure against. It is inevitable that the selection criteria default to how best to nourish the patronage web of the ruling party — or rather, the most powerful local faction. Any benefit conferred by the project is incidental — indeed, often irrelevant.
So-called black economic empowerment is merely a cover for feeding the voracious appetites of the patronage machine of the ruling party. This is not what our constitution envisaged as assistance to the disadvantaged.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Send us an e-mail with your comments. Letters of more than 300 words will be edited for length. Send your letter by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous correspondence will not be published. Writers should include a daytime telephone number.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.