Education: overspending on staff

2010-11-17 00:00

THE high expenditure on compensation of employees has forced the KZN Education Department to cut back drastically on some of its programmes.

This was disclosed when the department’s MEC, Senzo Mchunu, and the acting provincial superintendent-general, Dr Simon Mbokazi, presented the department’s mid-term review to the KZN Legislature’s finance portfolio committee in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

In an attempt not to overspend in the current year, the department has decided to stop or reduce spending on certain programmes.

Of the R14,4 billion spent during the mid-year term, more than R10 billion went on the compensation of employees. This, the department said in its presentation, has a negative impact on its ability to deliver services.

“At the end of 2009/2010 [financial year], the department had over-expenditure of R172 million which is likely to become a … charge in this years’ budget — further putting a strain in the already strained budget.

“At this point, it is not known how much the department will be re-imbursed in respect of the 2010 wage agreement, but trends indicate that this amount will be far less than the actual cost,” the department said.

By the time of the compilation of the mid-term presentation (September 30, 2010), the department had used about 50% of its annual budget. This means that some projected targeted figures were reached even though spending was nil on other aspects because of the effects of the three-week strike by public servants.

The presentation by the Social Development Department, also made yesterday to the finance portfolio committee, recorded under-spending with regard to compensation of employees because vacant posts were not filled for senior and middle management positions in all programmes.

Although some posts have been filled and others advertised, the department is planning to shift funds from the compensation of employees to off-set spending pressure in goods and services during the adjustments estimate process.

Today the Agriculture and Environment Affairs Department is expected to make its presentantion. The premier’s office, and royal household, and Economic Development and Tourism are expected to deliver their mid-term reviews tomorrow and on Friday.

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