Poor matric results yet bonuses paid

2010-09-14 22:34

Mbombela - Mpumalanga's department of education has been grilled for paying R23m in performance bonuses in the 2008-'09 financial year, even though the province produced a pass rate of just 51.8%.

Chairperson of the select committee on public accounts (Scopa) Fish Mahlalela recommended on Tuesday that the auditor general investigate the department's employee performance management system and payment of performance bonuses.

"We are not convinced that the performance bonuses were based on merit," he said.

"In the event that there were people performing above average, it should have reflected on the general performance of the department, especially the matric results.”

He said that, to qualify for a performance bonus, officials needed to be assessed quarterly, but the department was assessing them only once a year.

Head of department Mahlasedi Mhlabane was unable to justify the payment.

“If there is any department in the country that needs to be blacklisted, it is the Mpumalanga department of education for inconsistency," he said.

According to the auditor-general, the department failed to perform in most key government responsibilities in the year under review.

Mpumalanga received the lowest matric pass rate last year, at 47.9%.

About 66 schools in the province obtained pass rates of below 20%, especially in the Bushbuckridge region.

The department suffered further disgrace when a number of examination question papers were leaked, prompting the education ministry to take over the function of examination administration in the province.