Bonuses as municipalities crumble
Lizel Steenkamp, Beeld
Cape Town - Despite widespread protests over poor service delivery, Sicelo Shiceka, minister of co-operative governance, still handed out performance bonuses to half of the senior managers in his department last year, says the DA.
Up to 59 senior officials, including Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela, former director-general, received R1.37m worth of bonuses during the 2008-'09 financial year.
On Tuesday the DA said it was "preposterous" that these performance bonuses were paid while the government had to admit shortly afterwards that municipalities are falling apart and that a comprehensive turnaround strategy needed to be implemented.
Shiceka has been the political head of this department since September 2008.
"It's absolutely outrageous! There is no reason why anyone in this department could get a bonus while the country is going up in flames," Piet Pretorius, DA MP and member of Parliament's standing committee for public accounts (Scopa), said on Tuesday.
In answer to Pretorius's written Parliamentary question, Shiceka confirmed that 59 of the 123 senior managers received performance bonuses in 2008-'09 and 50 received performance bonuses to the value of R1.6m during the 2007-'08 financial year.
A further 56 managers were compensated for exceptional work during the 2006-'07 financial year.
Meanwhile, Msengana-Ndlela received over R151 000 in bonuses when her contract was ended on June 30 last year.
Bonuses for everyone
The previous minister, Sydney Mufamadi, approved these bonuses in 2006 and 2007, but they were only paid when the director-general left the department after seven years.
According to Pretorius, Scopa has identified a pattern over the past three months where state departments hand out bonuses "left and right" to top officials who don't necessarily qualify for these bonuses.
He said normal practice is that less than 20% of senior managers should receive performance bonuses.
"But some departments that appeared before Scopa had handed out bonuses to more than half of their senior managers. I am worried."