No pay for ‘ghost’ teachers

2011-04-04 00:00

THE KZN Education Department has saved R113,5 million by freezing salaries paid to more than 600 “ghost” teachers. A total of 1 363 cases are currently being investigated. This was confirmed by MEC Senzo Mchunu to The Witness on Friday.

He said these estimates come from the KZN Treasury, which conducted a head count last year.

“There was a perception that there were ghosts in various departments. In our department these figures are at preliminary level because the process has not been completed. There were about 500 schools that have not been audited,” said Mchunu.

About 100 000 departmental employees in the province were required to produce original copies of their qualifications and ID documents for the audits. Those who failed to do so, did not receive their pay.

While the department has saved R113 million through the process, Mchunu said any money found to have been paid unlawfully goes back to the treasury.

Mchunu was also able to confirm that a school principal, who has been missing from school while running a business, but drawing a full salary from the department, has been dismissed from his duties. He did not have details on which school this principal headed. The Witness understands the principal is contesting his dismissal.

Tom Stokes, the Democratic Alliance’s KZN spokesperson for education, said for far too long department officials have been derelict in their duty to weed out missing teachers, a number of whom are principals.

Stokes described as staggering that this principal’s immediate superiors, such as the school inspector, made no effort over the three-year period to confront the matter.

He attributed the discovery to Mchu­nu’s new tough approach to lazy and inefficient officials, as well as the new organisational structure of the department recently presented to the portfolio committee.

“I would like to believe that the new approach is as a result of the MEC listening intently even when it is uncomfortable and soliciting ideas and best practices, because education is not a political issue,” said Stokes.



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