R93,6 mln paid to axed officials

2012-03-20 00:00

CAPE TOWN — In 2011 about R93,6 million was paid to 365 suspended senior state officials.

These officials have been suspended from various national departments on full pay since April 2009.

This was stated by Public Service and Administration Minister Roy Padayachie in reply to a parliamentary question.

He said it took an average of 243 days for national departments to complete disciplinary investigations against officials, while provincial departments took an average of 444 days.

He added that 336 disciplinary hearings were still under way.

Padayachie replaced Richard Baloyi in October 2011.

Departmental spokesperson Dumisani Nkwamba told Beeld yesterday that Padayachie had been giving attention to the national and provincial governments’ suspension practices.

“It is a huge priority for him. The minister has already announced that disciplinary cases may take no longer than six months.

“This limit is already in place, but the minister has to negotiate with other government departments to obtain their co-operation.”

When asked whether the government could claim back the money paid to suspended officials if they were found guilty, Nkwamba said: “It isn’t possible to say yes or no. It differs from case to case.”

DA MP and public service and administration spokesperson Kobus Marais said the suspension of officials was out of control.

“One has to ask how effective the department is. The minister must come and report to the public service and administration parliamentary committee how the situation is to be improved.”

Marais said yesterday that the practice of suspending government officials on full pay placed an enormous burden on the treasury.

“Provinces also pay big money to suspended officials. In 2008/9 and 2009/10 they paid R15,5 million to suspended officials.”

Marais said there was a prescribed provision that investigations have to be completed within 60 days.

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