- A study released on Wednesday morning has warned that the dangers of state capture are far from over
- The document was compiled by researchers at the University of Stellenbosch in cooperation with others
- The study warns that state capture goes beyond Jacob Zuma, the Gupta family and SOEs and includes institutions like SASSA
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A study which was released on Wednesday morning has warned that the dangers of state capture are far from over and goes far beyond former president Jacob Zuma his ANC cronies, the Gupta family and their foot soldiers and includes not only state-owned enterprises (SOEs) but also institutions such as the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).
The study claims that the protracted, near-disastrous scandal at SASSA involving social grant payments was caused by much-deeper issues than ineptitude on the part of Bathabile Dlamini and was actually an example of how institutions and state agencies could be captured for personal and party specific gains.
The social grants payments system is one of the crowning achievements of the ANC-led government and can according to the study be used by the ANC as an incredibly effective tool to increase support among the electorate. As such whoever controls SASSA can, in theory, control the ANC.
The study claims financial gain is only a part of the phenomenon known as state capture and that another important part of capture is consolidating or securing political power and support.
Briefly.co.za gathered the study shows that Dlamini was part of a political effort to capture SASSA in order to benefit the certain structures within the ANC which have the power to elect new leaders.
This was an apparent attempt on behalf of Dlamini to strengthen the factions aligned to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the race to become president of the ANC.
DailyMaverick.co.za reported that Dlamini was able to circumvent certain norms and even regulations due to her position as president of the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) and using this power she successfully manipulated the tender process and appointed CPS to make payments of social grants.
The study said by changing just one word in the tender process from preferred to must, the rules changed and the deal between SASSA and CPS was made. This deal allowed Dlamini to exercise an inordinate amount of influence over what should be an independent agency.
The study claims this manipulation of the tender process was just one step in many taken by Dlamini to ensure near-total control over SASSA and proves that contrary to popular belief she is not inept, but is actually a highly-skilled political operative.
EWN.co.za reported that it was this line which gave the report its title: “How one word can change the Game”
The document was compiled by Professor Mark Swelling who is based at the University of Stellenbosch, he was assisted by an inter-university, inter-departmental research group which included Robyn Foley from the Centre for Complex Systems.
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