More jobs for pals, says IFP

2012-10-15 00:00

THE IFP has accused the ANC of creating jobs for pals at the legislature, following a proposal on Friday that the legislature staff be increased by almost half its current number.

The party’s chief whip in the legislature, Mntomuhle Khawula, said that the proposal that came up at the Rules Committee meeting was just “one of the many ways to create jobs for pals and exercise cadre deployment for the ANC. There is absolutely no need for additional staff in the legislature,” he said.

According to Khawula a report presented to the committee showed that the legislature currently had a staff complement of 249.

He said the new proposal by consultants — hired by KZN Speaker, Peggy Nkonyeni — would increase the staff complement by 101 for a total of 350.

“The legislature staff budget is currently at R165 million per annum. This proposed increase will add another R35,5 million per annum, excluding establishment costs like office space, furniture, ICT, tools of trade and other costs,” said Khawula.

He added that the IFP totally rejected “this absurd waste of resources. Instead of government scaling down on personnel costs, as is happening in the rest of the world due to current economic pressures, KZN was doing the exact opposite.

Khawula said that Nkonyeni could not equate her position as Speaker of the legislature to being that of the head of government ministries.

This competition for Empire creations in the ruling party must come to an end,” said Khawula.

DA MPL Radley Keys said he had asked for more information and for reasons justifying the increase in staff numbers.

“This proposal is going to be discussed at our party caucus. Our preliminary position is that the plan is exhorbitant and well over the top,” he said. KZN Deputy Speaker and chair of the Legislature Disciplinary Committee Mtholephi Mthimkhulu said the restructuring had to do with the country’s legislative sector adopting an oversight and accountability model. He said the proposal was to ensure that there was sufficient capacity to implement the model.

Mthimkhulu said the province served a larger population compared to other legislatures, yet had a smaller staff compliment.

The Gauteng legislature had a staff of 500, the Eastern Cape 300 and Mpumalanga 400.

He said at this stage the proposal was for political parties to discuss and give their inputs so it was with “consternation and dismay that he learnt that Khawula has chosen to consult through the media. We expect leaders to always act responsibly and never demonstrate political immaturity and cheap politicking by confusing the media and the public on simple internal parliamentary processes,” Mthimkhulu said.

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