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ANC has learnt the ropes - Motlanthe

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe spoke to Redi Tlhabi on Tuesday morning.

FILE: Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe speaking during the RFA Convention 2013 held in Phalaborwa on 20 May. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Tuesday morning that while the ANC was not entirely prepared for the task of governance when they came into power, they have "learnt the ropes" over the last 20 years.

Redi Tlhabi asked Motlanthe during an interview on Talk Radio 702/567 CapeTalk if the costs and requirements of governance were greater than what his party expected.

The deputy president said the party produced a document in 1992 called 'Ready to Govern', "but not even that prepared us for what the actual responsibilities of governing were all about."

Asked if he and his party were overwhelmed now, he said, "Not quite, 20 years is a good enough time for us to have learnt the ropes of governing as well as knowing what works and what doesn't work."

He told Tlhabi that government is very capable of tackling corruption in deals between the public and private sectors, such as construction, an industry rocked by massive fines this week.

"I think we should follow the Chinese example of having an anti-corruption unit attached to every mega project so that we don't wait until everybody has been paid off and the money is gone and we are sitting with shoddy work."

Motlanthe also emphasised that government is entirely capable of showing the public that it will stop corruption, but noted that its efforts are barely noticed.

"It's possible for the state to do that. For example, there are many instances where, through government intervention, corruption is stopped in its tracks - yet those never get publicised."

Tlhabi then quizzed the deputy president on his view of the NDP's future and its reputation among some unions.

He argued that no one is actually against the NDP, but rather there are a few who are merely "critical of certain elements" and that they think it could perhaps be "written better".

He criticised these disagreements for dealing only with abstractions and said that this would not result in any progress.

He said the best thing to do is implement and move ahead with the NDP and make changes as problems arise as the best test of the plan is to put it into practice.

"The NDP is not a short term plan, it has to be broken down into doable tasks for each term and each year."

Asked about the need for task teams in state institutions, Motlanthe agreed that if things were functioning as they were supposed to, there would be no need for them to be appointed.

"If everything works as it should there shouldn't be a need for task teams, but life doesn't work like that."

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