Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
IT IS fashionable now among ANC leaders to talk about turning South Africa into a developmental state. This is the economic model many East Asian nations pursued after the Second World War.
These nations, most of them not mineral-rich like South Africa, notched up phenomenal economic growth rates.
What made these nations successful when other developing nations failed? The Asian economic "tigers" got planning, co-ordination and implementation of policies right.
Firstly, they appointed the best talent to top management positions of the public service, rather than incompetent loyalists.
They argued there was no point having the right policies if there were no competent people to implement them.
If we are serious about turning around an ailing department like Home Affairs, for example, why don't we appoint capable South Africans such as Ramphele Mamphele, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town, or Steve Booysen, the former CEO of Absa Bank, to turn it around?
The East Asian tiger nations created new industries from scratch, which employed millions.
These countries also identified the niche products that would fuel the next global economic boom.
Instead of just selling off strategic assets, the East Asian tiger countries often got their companies to form joint ventures with international companies, on condition that these foreign companies share new technology, transfer skills and create jobs. South Africa is the world's largest platinum producer - with more than 80percent of the world platinum resources.
Platinum is an important catalyst needed to turn hydrogen into usable energy. The US and China have already identified hydrogen as one of the sources of clean energy of the future.
South Africa could turn a region in North West that is based in the area where platinum is mined into a regional growth area along the lines of Technology Park Malaysia.
South Africa has the technology to produce the Rooivalk attack helicopter, but would it not make more sense to use that technology, in combination with the steel resources we have and the over-supply of low-skilled labour, to build our own minibuses, rail and bus coaches, which we currently import?
Since 1994, close to R300billion has been transferred to black economic empowerment companies. But South Africa has not received the same kind of return that Japanese and Korean companies gave back to their societies during the 1970s reconstruction of those countries.
Japanese and Koreans businesses, who received money equivalent to that our BEE companies receive, operated "company towns", where they provided anything from housing to education to their workers.
In our case, why not rate BEE companies on job created, skills transferred and new products created and markets conquered?
Whether we are committed to building a developmental state, beyond fashionable phrases, we will be measured on whether public managers, who are politically powerful are fired if they do not deliver.
l Gumede is author of Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC