Confusion surrounds North West ghost workers

2015-09-06 06:30
Supra Mahumapelo

Supra Mahumapelo

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The special administrative adviser of the North West government, Professor Job Mokgoro, has contradicted Premier Supra Mahumapelo in what appeared to be an attempt to pour cold water on shocking revelations about the existence of 36 000 ghost workers in the province. 

Mokgoro said Mahumapelo was “misunderstood” when he divulged that the provincial administration was paying monthly salaries to 36 000 public servants who could not be accounted for. 

As a former director-general of North West, Mokgoro claimed there were no ghost workers. He said indications were that some of the 36 000 workers in question were “seasonal workers, like examination markers, interns and EPWP [extended public works programme] workers”. 

Mahumapelo, however, seemed adamant that there was something fishy about the 36 000 workers. 

“It is quite clear there are some people who are manipulating the system itself,” the premier said. 

Asked how much money the government was losing to ghost workers, Mahumapelo said it was a “lot of money … it’s quite massive”, but he added that the “reason why we don’t know the exact amount now is because people in the persal system [government’s salary-payment system] keep on changing”. 

“This month you see a person at this level and [the next month they have moved to] another level. The entry point is zero; that’s how they put them into the system and, later on, these people go up the ladder,” he said. 

The premier mentioned levels, but Mokgoro had something different to say about the same. 

“We have levels 1 to 16 in public service [and] the 36 000 didn’t fall in any of the categories. Our concern was why they are not falling into any category,” said Mokgoro. 

Asked why Mahumapelo had said all he had, Mokgoro believed the premier was misunderstood, adding that their investigation had not yet “advanced to a point where some people got promoted”. 

Mahumapelo made the shocking revelation during a meeting in Mahikeng on Tuesday linking the discovery of the 36 000 ghost workers to his administration’s commitment to a “cleanup” in government. 

The ANC in the province later released a statement reiterating Mahumapelo’s statement in even stronger terms. 

While Mokgoro only sought to portray them otherwise, ANC provincial secretary Dakota Legoete described them as the “36 000 ghost employees who have been milking millions in illegal salaries from the civil service”. 

“These ghost employees have been undetected and exhausting the slim annual salary budget of R19 billion for a number of months,” Legoete wrote in a statement. 

Meanwhile, Mokgoro said they were hoping to finalise the investigation into the public service by the end of next week. 

Read more on:    north west  |  ghost workers

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