North West has no ghost workers to blame for its R19bn salary bill

2015-11-03 16:56
Supra Mahumapelo

Supra Mahumapelo

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It has emerged that there were no “ghost workers” that can be blamed for the North West province’s huge annual public servants salary bill of R19 billion – the lion’s share of the province’s total budget of R26 billion.

The provincial government will embark on a “head count” process to ensure that no ghost worker could have been overlooked during the investigation.

Earlier in September Premier Supra Mahumapelo said there were about 36 000 public servants in the payroll system who could not be accounted for.

“It is quite clear that some people are manipulating the system. There are people who are not properly employed who enter our system dubiously,” Mahumapelo said then.

This was after thousands of workers could not be placed anywhere in the government’s salary scales and were automatically classified as “ghost workers”.

An investigation was immediately launched and the provincial director-general Keneilwe Sebego announced the preliminary outcome earlier today.

“We are confirming that these are not ‘ghost employees’ but nonpermanent employees who are, by procedure, appointed on salary level 0. We will, in our attempt to intensively manage the incidence of salary level 0 appointments, coordinate the head-count project across departments because this process will also indicate to us the extent to which ghost employees exist in the provincial government,” said Sebego.

This may have brought some relief but would not change the fact that the provincial government was sitting on a huge salary bill that left only R3 billion for service delivery from a R26-billion budget. The mostly rural province still faced acute water shortage, housing, roads and other infrastructural challenges.

The provincial government said today the investigation has “discovered that the initial number of employees appointed as non-permanent had dropped from 37 515 by a significant 26 759”.

Sebego said “as at January 2015 a total number of 37 515 employees were appointed on salary level 0 which is used to capture nonpermanent employees on the [payroll] system”.

“These are employees that are appointed without occupying a post on the organisational structure and their appointments are classified as either periodic remuneration or abnormal appointments,” Sebego said.

She added that “people employed in these legislated categories are mainly for programmes such as department, internships, learnerships, student nurses and examination markers”.

“We can confirm that by September this year the system showed a total of 10 756 nonpermanent employees … this from the 37 515 employees in January. The provincial department of public works and roads accounts for the most reduction because most [of the department] contracts have expired”, Sebego said.
Read more on:    supra mahumapelo  |  north west  |  ghost workers

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