IFP raises health staff issue

2009-09-14 00:00

The KwaZulu-Natal Health Department continues to hire non-critical staff despite the moratorium imposed in August 2008 on the appointment of employees other than doctors and nurses in order to contain the multi-billion rand over-expenditure, the IFP said on Friday.

“The department has found a creative way of bypassing the moratorium by recruiting non-critical staff through employment agencies,” said IFP member of provincial legislature Roman Liptak, who also serves on the health portfolio committee in the Legislature.

In total, 112 employees have been recruited with the help of employment agencies since the inception of the freeze on the filling of non-critical vacancies in August last year, said Liptak.

While some of these jobs have been filled on a month-to-month basis, said Liptak, others are on a fixed-term contract.

It appears the department has been employing staff through agencies since at least 2003, creating two categories of employees, the permanent ones, who enjoy the benefits available to government employees and temporary staff contracted to employment agencies.

Last week the department, in partnership with the provincial treasury unveiled a turnaround plan to contain unnecessary expenditure. The plan included cutting down costs on travel, entertainment and frills.

Department spokesman, Chris Maxon, said that the IFP’s claims were untrue. He said that opposition party must provide detailed information on this.

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