Shock at Premier’s office ‘bloat’

2014-11-28 00:00

MEMBERS of the KZN legislature’s finance committee were shocked yesterday when presented with plans by the Premier’s Office to increase its staff by more than 50%.

The committee had been briefed by the provincial treasury on the financial affairs of the Department of the Premier’s Office, which was appearing before the committee.

Treasury revealed that the Premier’s ­Office was planning to migrate to a new, massive organogram that neither it nor the department had the money to fund.

The plan would grow the number of ­employees from just over 400 to over 600. About 259 new people would be hired to fill posts in the new organogram. This could increase the salary bill by millions of rands.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ­presentation, members of the portfolio committee on the Premier — the committee responsible for overseeing the activities of the Premier’s Office — were shocked by the revelations.

“This is not right,” said a member who declined to be named. “We have been asking for this for a long time and they kept saying that it was not ready. But they are presenting here today. They are shocking us with this. They want us to faint here.”

Finance portfolio committee members were unanimous in their opposition to the new organogram.

“This department is acting like a service delivery department when in fact it is a ­co-ordinating department,” said DA leader Sizwe Mchunu.

IFP leader Dr Lionel Mtshali demanded to know what pressures had created a need for such a bloated structure.

The department came under more ­pressure when it was revealed it had ­transferred R7,8 million to the department of the Royal Household to ease its financial problems. The Royal Household is managed in the Premier’s Office.

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