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215 DG and ministerial relationships since 2009 under Zuma administration

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215 DG and ministerial relationships since 2009 under Zuma administration

3rd August 2017

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Today, the IRR released a report titled “Political musical chairs: Turnover in the national executive and administration since 2009”. The IRR commissioned political consultant and columnist, Gareth Van Onselen, to conduct the analysis. The detailed report reveals that since 2009, President Jacob Zuma has turned over his cabinet 11 times resulting in 126 changes to the executive, and overseen the appointment of 172 directors-general. The result of this political game of musical chairs is 215 director-general and ministerial relationships since President Zuma’s first term in 2009.

As of the end of July 2017, President Jacob Zuma has been in charge of the national government administration for exactly 100 months. The key findings of the report about Zuma’s 100 months reveal:

  • 126 changes to the executive= 62 changes to ministerial positions, 63 changes to deputy ministerial positions, and one change to the deputy presidency
  • Through all the changes, only 11 people from the 2009 executive remain
  • 172 directors-general appointed across 38 departments
  • On average a director-general serves 22 months before he/she is replaced
  • Of the 215 DG and ministerial relationships created, 59.1% lasted less than a year, and 89 of the 215 included acting directors-general.
  • 14 months is the average lifespan of the DG and ministerial relationship

“This is not how you manage a national government, it is how to sew chaos, uncertainty and disorder and, it would seem, Jacob Zuma has perfected that particular art,” says Van Onselen.

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“In any national government department leadership resides in two parallel authorities: the national minister and the director-general. Each of these roles must work closely with the other in order to deliver on a mandate.”

Van Onselen concludes that “this analysis lifts the veil on an administration that is as compromised ethically as it is with regard to expertise.”

  • 215 DG and ministerial relationships since 2009 under Zuma administration
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