The Democratic Alliance (DA) has today written to KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, MEC Sithole-Moloi, calling on her to reject Premier Sihle Zikalala’s decision to redeploy embattled Social Development HOD Nokuthula Khanyile to her Department as CEO of the Agribusiness Development Agency (ADA).
The move comes after an announcement by the Office of the Premier on Friday last week. It also comes after the HAWKS recently raided Khanyile’s office after she was accused of kleptocracy, intimidating service providers, misleading performance management information and encouraging flawed supply chain management processes.
The DA strongly opposes ANC Premier, Sihle Zikalala’s decision to redeploy Khanyile, to the already struggling Department of Agriculture. We regard this as yet another indication that the 6th administration under Premier Zikalala does not take corruption and mismanagement seriously.
In his first big test, Zikalala failed to deal decisively with eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede. Now, yet again, he has failed to show leadership and take a strong stance against corruption and maladministration by shifting Khanyile to another critical position within the provincial government.
The Agribusiness Development Agency (ADA) is an important supporter of small scale farmers and value chain transformation. The largely failed DSD is an indication of what can be expected for ADA under Khanyile. In addition to this, Khanyile does not have the experience or expertise in the field of agriculture to take the ADA forward.
The continued abuse of important institutions such as ADA will not help our province in the fight against poverty, unemployment and inequality. The Premier must get tough on corruption and must start to deploy people based on their abilities and expertise. Government cannot be a dumping ground to reward failed and corrupt cadres.
The DA expects MEC Sithole-Moloi to note our call with the seriousness it deserves. The question now is whether or not she will put her Department first and fight, or whether she will bow to pressure by the Premier.