President Ramaphosa shared his long-awaited reaction to the Zondo Commission recommendations regarding state capture on 24 October. While OUTA appreciates the president’s feedback on the recommendations, we hoped for a far more informative and action-based response. Despite the fact that he has had four months to consider the report, he appears to have mostly repeated and summarised the recommendations from the State Capture Commission that apply to the Presidency, Executive and Parliament. It is also interesting to note that the President didn’t address matters like the ruling party’s role in state capture, or the issue of cadre deployment and how this undermined many state-owned entities and government departments. 

It is good that President Ramaphosa acknowledged that state capture took place and that it was extremely damaging to our country, but he missed an excellent opportunity to take the nation into his confidence on real progress and future action on this matter. His report lacks substantial plans and concrete decisions on what or how he intends to implement the recommendations of the State Capture report. Read more about our concerns here.

One of the most concerning aspects of the President’s reaction to the Zondo recommendations is that Parliament will be responsible for the biggest proposed changes to prevent future state capture.  OUTA’s fourth annual report on oversight found yet again that Parliament has failed South Africa, particularly because it failed to stop state capture. (You can read more about Parliament’s previous failure to stop state capture in our book Permitted Plundering: How Parliament Failed South Africa, for sale here.

OUTA’s report, called Kicking the can down the road: OUTA 2022 Report on Parliamentary Oversight in South Africa, was e-mailed to more than 600 targeted MPs, the Secretary to Parliament, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, party whips and the House Chairperson for Committees, Oversight and ICTs.  However, only 5% of those who received the e-mail opened the link to our report. 

On 31 October, OUTA’s Parliamentary Engagement Office team formally handed over the report to Adv Victor Ngaleka, Procedural Advisor for the National Assembly Table (see here) he undertook to share it with the Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who will then decide the next steps. We look forward to future engagement with Parliament on our findings.