Premier cracks whip

2014-08-01 00:00

PREMIER Senzo Mchunu is cracking the whip to speed up the disciplinary hearings of officials who sit at home while on full pay.

Mchunu said such disciplinary cases could not be tolerated any longer and he is insisting top managers in the provincial government take charge.

The premier insisted that there were regulations guiding the suspensions.

“All we are saying to top managers who are here is they should implement them.”

He put his foot down at a seminar for all departmental senior managers in Durban yesterday.

Also speaking at the seminar was Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane, who said the number of officials on precautionary suspension was unacceptably high.

He revealed that KZN had 84 officials on precautionary suspensions in the last financial year.

“Although some cases are resolved and officials dismissed, more that 50 are on suspension with full pay,” Chabane added.

He echoed Mchunu on the need to clamp down on precautionary suspensions, saying procedures guiding disciplinary processes should be adhered to.

“As the Public Service and Administration Department, we are happy to partner with yourselves to deal with this swiftly as we can so that the state machinery can begin to function properly.”

During a question-and-answer session one senior manager said some officials trained to preside over disciplinary hearings were unwilling to preside over hearings of their colleagues.

“Maybe, we should centralise and have a pool of presiding officers in the office of the premier so that we can speed up this issue,” head of the Arts and Culture Department Sibongile Nzimande said.

But Mchunu shot down the proposal, saying it would open a “canal of decay”.

“What we will centralise is to investigate why this is happening,” Mchunu said.

In a thinly veiled attack on managers who did not act, he said it reflected the managers were not fit for their jobs.

“It means your authority depends on softness, not your responsibility to discharge your duty.

“In a way, it indicates the way you got your job,” he said to applausefrom his audience.

Chabane said managers were hired to manage people and do what was stated in the law.

“We think it is prudent to charge those who don’t charge others,” he said.

Mchunu also spoke of the need for senior managers not to use public service as a political platform, and not even debate politics at their offices.

He also discouraged them from active internal political party work and raising funds for parties and politicians.

“The more involved you are in those things, the more you get confused and unable to know what your role is,” the premier said.

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