alliance 'will stifle growth'

FORESIGHT: William Gumede. Pic. Muntu Vilakazi. 13/04/2005. © 
William Gumede during the launch of his book titled
FORESIGHT: William Gumede. Pic. Muntu Vilakazi. 13/04/2005. © William Gumede during the launch of his book titled "Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC" in Hyde Park Photograph:muntu vilakazi 13\04\2005

PARTICIPANTS in a dialogue about the government's Green Paper on National Planning have identified the ANC and its alliance partners as the main stumbling blocks to the success of Trevor Manuel's National Planning Commission.

PARTICIPANTS in a dialogue about the government's Green Paper on National Planning have identified the ANC and its alliance partners as the main stumbling blocks to the success of Trevor Manuel's National Planning Commission.

Author and political commentator William Mervin Gumede blamed the ANC's cadre deployment system for staffing government with incompetent people, leading to the collapse of the public service.

"The commission is not going to work unless the cadre deployment of the ANC is modernised or transformed," Gumede said.

Speaking yesterday at a round table discussion hosted by the Helen Suzman Foundation in Rosebank, Johannesburg, Gumede said for the commission to succeed it needed to get legitimacy in government, the ANC and society in general.

"Once we have set up a dedicated planning commission the question is how you get political legitimacy for it within the ANC alliance. How do you get political legitimacy for it outside the alliance?"

Gumede also blamed President Jacob Zuma's coalition with Cosatu and the SACP, saying it would continue to stifle growth in the country for the next five years.

"Just the nature of the Jacob Zuma coalition will make it very difficult, I think, to implement anything over the next five years. Zuma has put together a coalition of people so diverse, with so many ideological differences and many different expectations.

"The problem is how you manage that."

Political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said there was a need to depoliticise the public service.

Neren Rau, chairpaerson of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said business was concerned that the commission had left out economic growth among its key priorities.

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