Damning documents have revealed that the Mpumalanga Government has used over R9-million of taxpayer’s money to pay salaries of officials who have been suspended for more than 60-days.
The 2021/22 annual reports for government departments in the province revealed that six departments spent more than R9 million on salaries for 47 officials who have been sitting at home for over 60-days and yet enjoying the spoils of the public service.
Below is how much each of the six departments spent on suspended officials:
- Department of Health: R 5 917 889 on 25 officials who have been suspended for over a year;
- Public Works, Roads and Transport: 137.4 R 870 588 on five officials who have been suspended for 137 days;
- Department of Education: R 701 601.05 on 12 officials who have been suspended for over 90 days;
- Office of the Premier: R 602 306 on 2 officials suspended for 210 days;
- Department of Social Development: R 507 395 on 1 official suspended for 270 days; and
- Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs: R400 916 on 1 official suspended for 49 days
This is a total of R 9 000 697.06 spent of officials who are sitting at home doing nothing.
Having officials suspended well over 60 days is a violation of the Disciplinary Codes and Procedure for Public Service Policy and the DPSA (Department of Public Service and Administration) Public Service Precautionary Suspensions Guide – which stipulates that the period of a precautionary suspension should not exceed 60 days.
With huge service delivery shortages in Mpumalanga, the DA finds it extremely concerning that since 2016, our spending on precautionary suspension has almost tripled from being just over R3.4 million a year to R9 million in the 2021/22 financial year.
Recognising the negative impact such wasteful expenditure has on the public purse and on service delivery in particular, the DA calls on public service employers to stick to the disciplinary procedures as contained in DPSA guides, and ensure that effective systems are in place to prevent protracted suspensions, use precautionary suspension only when all avenues have proven fruitless and opt to use a precautionary transfer when possible.
Assuming that this provincial government would be able to reduce this debt by just R3 million in the coming financial year, this money could be used to:
- Purchase, deliver and install around 200 5000-liter Jojo Tanks for water scarce areas in the province;
- Provide food parcels to 2500 families at R1200 each; or
- Build an additional 20 RDP homes for the elderly on our waiting lists at R150 000 each.
Considering the recent Eskom crisis and stagnant service delivery, the provincial government needs to eliminate the unnecessary expenditure and run government in a way that benefit the people.