was matanzima BETTER THAN thabo MBEKI?
CO-OPERATIVE Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka says bantustan leader Kaiser Matanzima may have contributed more to development than the Mbeki government.
Shiceka was speaking at the 11th annual Association of Public Accounts Committees conference at Cape Town's International Convention Centre yesterday.
"The former Transkei has not been developed. You might find that the contribution of Matanzima might have been more than what we have done."
In a hard-hitting speech he accused the Mbeki government of being "less responsive to the needs of people".
"When we came in [to power after the April elections] we found stacks and stacks of letters in premiers' offices that had never been answered," he said.
Shiceka's comments followed President Jacob Zuma's criticisms of Mbeki last weekend.
Zuma told TV news channel CNN that Mbeki "had his views [on HIV and Aids], it was not ANC policy, it was not government policy either".
Shiceka said that municipalities would be expected to establish public accounts committees before December 15 in a bid to improve service delivery and to end bad audit results.
He said municipalities were full of "corruption, fraud, mismanagement and people who do not have the required skills, which we call nepotism".
He said the municipal infrastructure grant, which was supposed to fund new infrastructure, was being used illegally.
"The municipal infrastructure grants are used for salaries and sometimes to the pockets of people," Shiceka said.
He urged ANC councillors to ensure that executive managers did not escape scrutiny by the new municipal public accounts committees.
"We don't want a situation where the ruling party treats the executive with kid gloves. Take the gloves off in the interest of the people of South Africa."