Political noise hides real Nkandla issue - Malala

Carin Smith

Cape Town - Be careful about the Nkandla narrative: is it just political noise or are the real issues being addressed, political commentator Justice Malala cautioned on Thursday.

He said a lot of the Nkandla narrative is because there is an election in about ten to twelve months' time.

"Of course I am for the money being paid back, but …why [has] no one at the Department of Public Works said 'hey guys, what is going on' as soon as the budgeted amount was breached," Malala said at the IPD South Africa Property Investment Conference in Cape Town.

"The question to ask, therefore, is whether the Department of Public Works is actually working.”

As long as South Africa's institutions are actually working then politicians can make all the noise they want, but if not then one might have to rethink about investing in SA, Malala said.

He praised the office of the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela as an example of a public institution that works, but questioned the motives of the Hawks, Sars on investigating Julius Malema and the independence of the judiciary.

A player in the economy

On government policy Malala said it is clear that the ANC sees itself as a player in the economy and will do whatever it can to establish its transformation and employment equity goals.

SA can also expect more legislation around land reform and agriculture, while minerals will also be a central focus.

"We will see more and more of the government taking on this role in the economy and not allowing the free market to run its course.

"People in business think they need not lobby Parliament, but they must, because others like the Communist Party and Cosatu are lobbying constantly," he said.

Malala believes that the government will use Eskom and SAA for transformation through procurement and expects more policies on this to come through.

On nuclear energy, Malala expects a deal with Russia, which he described as the government's "new best friend".

He said China is another one of SA's "new best friends".

He said people worry about a second colonisation, but China will be more of a game changer than we think. According to Malala there are already more than 50 SA teachers in China learning how to teach Mandarin in SA schools.

On ANC succession planning Malala said the signs are there that SA can expect a first woman president after the next national election. He reckons it would be Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Fin24 Source http://www.fin24.com/Economy/Political-noise-hides-real-Nkandla-issue-Ma...