Mmusi Maimane. Picture: THE TIMES/ALON SKUY
Mmusi Maimane. Picture: THE TIMES/ALON SKUY

Mmusi Maimane made a stirring plea for a competent, smaller state (“SA will be mired in failure if we don’t swap mediocrity for excellence”, October 7). He correctly said no amount of planning could compensate for an inept, incompetent state, and ineffective state employees.

We need to clean up the failed and failing municipalities. In short, we must appoint to government the “best of the best”. But he did not seize the nettle of opening up government jobs to all South Africans, regardless of their majority or minority status or the impact on ethnic fractions. In recoiling from this he, by default, endorsed the ANC policy of democratic representivity at all costs.

Ever since 1995, many of  “the best” have been slighted by government as they happened to be the wrong colour. The benchmarks were discarded. Experience built up over generations was sacrificed for the dream of an instant designer state, perfectly ethnically aligned. The nation has paid a huge cost.

Had government moved more slowly, and were it to have had the wisdom over the last decades to fully access the reserves of human and social talent in the ethnic minorities, there would almost certainly have been a deeper pool of black talent today. Even now it is not too late.

Willem Cronje
Via e-mail

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