Gigaba’s 14-point plan – any collaboration there?
Posted by Janice Scheckter on 30 July 2017 7:20 PM CAT
By now we’ve got a good sense of Malusi Gigaba’s ability to collaborate. Tragically it appears to have been misguided, but if I was a religious person, I’d probably be quoting some biblical passage alluding to the forgiveness of sinners. Just last week, the OECD called out South Africa’s poor growth forecasts and Gigaba agreed noting that there was a 14-point plan ready for implementation. I’d be really interested in understanding the 14-point plan, in particular the collaborative aspects of the plan.
Various spokespeople from the OECD continually advise on South Africa’s need to collaborate, both within the public sector and across to private sector. Combating poor health conditions should not be the sole mandate of the Department of Health, just as lack of foreign investment should not be the sole mandate of the dti. Foreign investment is slow because of multiple factors that include high levels of corruption, an under skilled workforce, labour action and labour law, high crime and poor law enforcement and more. If the dti are walking a lonely road to solutions, they will have a far greater distance to cover than imagined.
But it’s not just government that fails to understand the collaborative imperative. Listening to Xolani Gwala of 702 Talk Radio question the Minister of Home Affairs a few weeks ago, as to why she needed to be a part of the security cluster when her mandate was the issuing of identity documents, I narrowly missed a street pole, so astounded was I at Gwala’s comment.
The concept of collaborative government is not new and many papers have been written on the topic, more so in the last five years. Collaborative government can speak to both inter-department collaboration and sharing and public-private collaboration. This blog focuses on the former. Primarily what’s needed though is key personal with the right knowledge and skills, and the desire to drive performance. Constant politicking is clearly an obstacle. A further obstacle could potentially determine an end to inter-departmental collaboration before it’s even had a chance to wobble on its newly born legs, is trust.
Collaboration simply cannot survive without trust and for most South Africans ‘trusted government’ is a sad oxymoron.
So, where does this leave us?
1. Start placing your vote against a TRUST measurement (tough one).
2. Don’t stop/do start collaborating at a company, business community, neighbourhood, suburb, city level. As these collaborations strengthen, the private sector impact will become tangible.
Look out for the next blog – an overview of the potential power of cities operating collaboratively.
Janice Scheckter is a collaboration activist, blogger and vlogger, who is seriously saddened, gatvol*, angry, and determined to be part of the change around the eroded trust in a government that will probably never collaborate for the right things.
*end of her tether (polite and not literal)