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Motlanthe: Politicians neglected to reflect on state of the people

The former president spoke to EWN on the sidelines of his foundation’s launch of its Inclusive Growth report, which painted a bleak picture of the country’s future.

FILE: Former President Kgalema Motlanthe. Picture: Radio 702

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Kgalema Motlanthe says that in pursuit of democracy, politicians neglected to reflect on the state of the people, leading to the current difficult climate.

Motlanthe spoke to Eyewitness News on the sidelines of his foundation’s launch of its Inclusive Growth report, which painted a bleak picture of the country’s future.

The report which was compiled by a number of academics, professionals, and civil society members has been handed over to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni for presentation to the president.

Among the number of recommendations, the report contains a bold suggestion that the recruitment of top government officials such as director-generals be conducted by the Public Service Commission to alleviate chances of bias.

Currently, such positions are short-term contracts filled by ministers at the president’s prerogative often leading to a high turnover in the public service.

Motlanthe said that often there was confusion about the difference between the state and government which had jeopardised the country’s ability to plan for the long term.

“If we can resonance of feeling about these key issues, that in itself it serves as the basis for synergy to tackle the problems.”

The emergence of the 4th Industrial Revolution would also require a new education curriculum, with the report emphasising the need for the delivery of quality education to be fast-tracked.

Climate change and its effects on society and the future was also one of the issues tackled in the report.