President Cyril Ramaphosa appears before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, April 28 2021. Picture: THEMBA HADEBE/REUTERS
President Cyril Ramaphosa appears before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, April 28 2021. Picture: THEMBA HADEBE/REUTERS

President Cyril Ramaphosa admitted before the Zondo commission that mistakes were made in the deployment of top management to the state-owned enterprises (SOEs). He conceded that state capture was real and damaging, and should have been faced earlier. He praised the press for their patriotic role in exposing the rot.

I hope that in his second tranche of evidence, in his capacity as SA president, Ramaphosa will be quizzed on the reasons for the disastrous state of most SOEs. Was it state capture (the Guptas); was it cadre deployment gone wrong; or — bitter pill to swallow — was it simply that affirmation action was instituted too soon and too fast?

After all, how could there have been a phalanx of competent black executives available to spring onto action so soon after the demise of the exclusionary apartheid system? Could such talent have developed almost overnight? Of course not. This is the  reason for the wide-ranging state collapse we see today.

Capture and misdirected deployment were merely exacerbating factors. But don’t  hold your breath for any such admission.

Willem Cronje
Cape Town

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