“It is no wonder that the ministers of the South African government do such a poor job of serving the country; they are simply never held accountable,” said Ian Cameron, director of community safety at Action Society. “The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, is a leader in poor performance as South Africa sees the murder of at least 67 people per day.
“Not a single one of the current ministers have ever had their performance officially evaluated, even after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced, in 2019, that they would be evaluated regularly from 2020.”
Action Society lodged a PAIA application to request access to the performance agreements signed by all the ministers, their evaluation reports and other related records or information since President Cyril Ramaphosa put the policy into place in October 2020.
In its response, the Office of the Presidency replied that the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation “indicated that there is no evaluation report as yet on the assessment of Ministers”.
“This proves that the performance agreements of ministers are not worth anything and simply for bureaucratic show,” said Cameron. “It is time all South Africans start holding our elected officials accountable.”
As Action Society focuses primarily on protecting vulnerable citizens like women and children, the performance agreement of the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, is of specific interest. Besides there being no official evaluation, the set targets are, in some cases, insignificant and, in other instances, extremely low.
The minister needs to draft an integrated crime and violence prevention strategy to reduce crime and violence, but the only target is to deliver one report – between June 2019 and April 2024. The same goes for creating the “perception” of increased police visibility in the top 30 police stations and creating trust in the police – victims satisfied with their interaction with the police.
Cele must also reduce the levels of contact crime by 7,48% per annum and violence against women by 6,9%.
There are no measurable targets to increase police visibility. The only target is to initiate the Community-in-Blue concept in all nine provinces.
“It is shameful that the bar is set so low for such an important portfolio and even more worrying that Cele constantly fails to achieve even those,” said Cameron. “This is the exact reason Action Society will continue to be a voice for the voiceless by acting where he fails, even if it means being shouted at and forcibly removed when calling him out on it.”
Any concerned South Africans can join Action Society in getting rid of incapable ministers, starting with Bheki Cele, by signing this petition.