Jackson Mthembu Level 2

Photo: GCIS

Mthembu: Ministers will ‘take classes’ to learn about good governance

The government’s big idea to prevent corruption in government has been unveiled by Jackson Mthembu; and he wants ministers and MPs ‘back in the classroom’.

Jackson Mthembu Level 2

Photo: GCIS

For those of you expecting Jackson Mthembu to deliver a few bombshells on Thursday morning, things didn’t really pan out that way. The Cabinet briefing, which tackled the thorny issues of corruption and cronyism, did present one rather ‘unique’ resolution though: Our elected officials are going back to school.

Ministers, MPs, MEC, mayors and more ‘going back to school’

That’s according to the Minister in the Presidency, who revealed that a programme of Spring schooling would be rolled out for every major player in the ANC. The university-backed scheme will take the following format:

  • The Economic Governance Spring School training course has been established by government.
  • An Executive Induction Programme will focus on learning with regards to government functions.
  • The Executive Education Programme, meanwhile, aims to teach govt officials ‘how to implement policies’.
  • All elected officials, from Cabinet to provincial levels, will be expected to take part in these initiatives.

Jackson Mthembu says politicians ‘must learn how to govern’

Mthembu explained that the courses are intended to ‘broaden the learning perspectives’ of those serving in government. He states that no-one is ‘too wise or old’ to learn something new:

“Government has approved two training courses to build the capacity of the state. This must be enhanced. Members of the Executive from all spheres of government – from ministers to premiers, and mayors to MECs – we will be asked to broaden learning perspectives and educate ourselves about government.”

“It’s a government partnership with the University College of London. You are never too wise to learn, nor are you too old to educate yourself. Therefore, Cabinet – all of us – will go back to school. This is so we can gain more knowledge on analysis and critical challenges of government.”

Jackson Mthembu

Mthembu concedes service delivery implementation ‘leaves many wanting’

This isn’t likely to be the ANC’s only anti-corruption measure – it would hardly stand-up as the hardline attack we were promised would be taken against the COVID-preneurs. But for Mthembu and his colleagues, this seems like the best place to start. The minister even quipped that some politicians needed to be taught to ‘avoid robbing the public of service delivery’. They better have a few damn good teachers on speed-dial…

“As Cabinet took stock of this, we acknowledged that we are always accused of an ‘inability’ to implement our policy positions. Polices, for example, that should advance service delivery.”

“Implementation has always proved difficult, so we hope that these training courses for all elected officials will help us learn how to implement policies – and prevent us from robbing the public of service delivery.”

Jackson Mthembu