SANDF blames new system for bonus bungle

2012-12-20 16:02

Johannesburg - A changeover to a new human resources system led to a bungle in bonuses paid to about 200 SA Air Force members this month, the military said on Thursday.

"We moved from one system to another and that's when this happened... they were paid, but also received bonuses which were not due to them," SA National Defence Force spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said.

On Thursday, it was reported that the air force members were mistakenly given performance bonuses in December. They had to return the money.

According to Beeld newspaper, most of the soldiers concerned were already on holiday and would only see the letter informing them of the error when they returned to work in January.

Dlamini said the employees would have to repay the money in the next round of salary payments.

"We told them [on Wednesday] that the money paid will be re-paid back to the department, which is normal. If it was overpaid by the government, you have to pay it back."

According to the internal letter, the bonuses would be deducted in full from the January salary, Beeld reported.

Some soldiers had threatened to take the matter to court.

"It's a big mess, because we've already paid tax on it. How are they going to fix it, and what about the people who come back in January to find that they're not getting any salary at the end of the month?" an affected member was quoted as asking.

Dlamini said if members felt the matter had to be taken to court, it was their right.

"They can, it's all up to them. Whoever wants to argue this matter has all the right to do so, but government is clear on this."

  • avanwyk2 - 2012-12-20 16:13

    The system excuse is now also getting boring. A lot of organisations use this excuse these days. Maybe it was the people that used the system. Think a bit man.

      gestoffle.vaneerdenvark - 2012-12-20 16:51

      i blame bee or aa.........

      gestoffle.vaneerdenvark - 2012-12-20 17:03

      "Some soldiers had threatened to take the matter to court." - in my day, you would be clever not to take on the SADF (note NO "N"), mainly because they would be using your nose as a scourer for landmines before you knew it....this defense force is like a business; soon they would be suing because they not getting crayfish for dinner or for no hot water.....respect is gone, makes you feel safe eh? If you serve your country, then money, although needed, shouldn't be your priority!

      paul.vanniekerk.378 - 2012-12-20 17:17

      Or ANC .......

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-20 19:28

      Or try testing before you 'go live'. Implementation 101

      Donkervlie - 2012-12-20 21:54

      If the money does not belong to you and it is not due to you then you must give it back to the rightful owner. to keep it is like stealing.

      themba.maseko.568 - 2012-12-21 07:21

      I do not know what company you work for, but these things do happen in the private sector as well. It happened to me once when there was a change of conditions of employment and I was paid the wrong amount. Where my wife's works in a small financial institution the payroll makes too many mistakes...once chap I know was fired for payroll errors

  • koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-12-20 16:13

    Rubbish! A computer or a system for that matter does not think. It does what you tell it to do. A computer can't be incompetent.

      derek.conradie - 2012-12-20 16:19

      How true. Any system is only as good as the person entering the data or checking the systems. If it was, in fact, a new system, then at least 1 trial run should have been processed to validate the data. What we have here, is gross incompetance, negligence and ineptitude on a scale that only nepotism can replicate.

      paul.vanniekerk.378 - 2012-12-20 17:34

      Shows in the quality of BE, BEE, BEEEE and how it works, "Sorry hys stukkend" ... always

  • wesselo1 - 2012-12-20 16:14

    Nothing wrong with the system, its the idiots entering the information. Garbage in, garbage out.

  • collins.ntelele - 2012-12-20 16:16

    Why do innocent emplyees have to suffer because of your stupidity?

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-12-20 16:20

      Same "innocent" employees who captured the data and pressed the button hehehehehe.

      paul.vanniekerk.378 - 2012-12-20 17:14

      They probably got the bonuses ......

  • collins.ntelele - 2012-12-20 16:16

    Why do innocent employees have to suffer because of your stupidity?

      paul.vanniekerk.378 - 2012-12-20 17:25

      They should not take the money in the first place .... "performance bonus" means you actually deserve it ...Or is dishonesty a now the norm in South Africa.

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-20 18:31

      A bonus is due only to peformers. Surely performance management would have determined who is entitled to receive a bonus, and those who did not perform would also know that they were erroneosly paid and must not take the money

      infijar.ken - 2012-12-20 18:40

      Sean, the money was THERE for the taking, even if it wasn't THEIRS!

  • trudiroos.potter - 2012-12-20 16:45

    Why are they getting bonuses in any case? Are they doing anything?

  • nic.nomicos.3 - 2012-12-20 16:47

    *if it was overpaid by the government you have to pay it back*...they aren't wasting time asking for it back are they?...

      paul.vanniekerk.378 - 2012-12-20 17:28

      It only went to the wrong recipients, that's why they are in a panic ..... It has been exposed

  • Philip - 2012-12-20 16:52

    You get the government you deserve. Now pay back the money!

  • Joan Thompson - 2012-12-20 16:54

    wrongly paid monies must be deducted but, depending on the amounts, can be split over 1-3 mths

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2012-12-20 17:00

    When you get caught out, quickly blame the system - not the operator or the person who initially authorized the payments! That way you just may get away with it!!!!!

      paul.vanniekerk.378 - 2012-12-20 17:38

      You hit the nail on the head .....

  • Joan Thompson - 2012-12-20 17:00

    Surely the paymaster must've noticed when the total salary bill escalated? but it can easily be corrected tho it will play havoc with Jan/feb tax deductions. i always would calculate tax manually so that i could monitor the respective payslips, especially when change in systems!!

  • Erna - 2012-12-20 17:07

    Doesn't a 'salary system' need 'someone' to punch in the numbers?

  • paul.vanniekerk.378 - 2012-12-20 17:12

    Since when does SANDF members get bonuses ... and for what ? (In this case) Performance ?? HUH ? Money was destined for some MEC

  • addjie1 - 2012-12-20 17:16

    What new HR system? It is not only the Air Force that is affected but the whole SANDF. No new system was implemented it was due to bungling errors of HR Functionaries.

  • addjie1 - 2012-12-20 17:18

    What new system? Not only the Air force that is affected but the whole SANDF....I know I am part of the sorry organisation. No new HR System was or has been implemented. The whole fiasco was caused by bungling HR functionaries.

  • Jacqui van Zweeden - 2012-12-20 17:20

    Every one deserves a bonus for work done through out the year. they should count their losses and move on... its not the staff's fault. recalling their bonus means taking christmas away from many of the families and kiddies

      Erna - 2012-12-20 17:57

      Performance bonusses are not a given, they have to be earned.

  • lee.farrington - 2012-12-20 17:38

    Its a poor workman that blames his tools

      mathanda.helele.1 - 2012-12-20 20:31

      I dont think these workmen know the difference proper management tools and marbles.

  • sue.tyler.73 - 2012-12-20 18:02

    But why are they even considering bonuses, when Mr. Zuma told public companies not to give bonuses or increases this year!!??? Go figure. They all getting fat bonuses when we've been deprived. Some companies took this very seriously, idiots......

  • musa.kamashobane - 2012-12-20 18:18

    Oh yes blame the systems SANDF, surely before you run the payroll release you check what you are releasing. Come on SANDF, you can only fool the illiterate

  • deon.vantonder.77 - 2012-12-20 19:20

    And what about the politician that gets overpaid EVERY month. Why do they receive performance bonusses if they aren't even at work?

  • mathanda.helele.1 - 2012-12-20 20:23

    What did you expect? How can you install a system, let it process transactions without a dummy run? Or even better, a parallel run (of the old system) to ensure accuracy and intergrity? The staff involved were probably placed in these positions because of struggle credentials.Unless and until public servants participate in a genuine and fair performance management system, this type of occurence will continue to be S Africa's daily bread.

  • prakash.singh.169 - 2012-12-20 20:24


  • israel.maseko.5 - 2012-12-21 08:19

    Is it possible for them to repay the money in 6 or 12 months because obviously they have used the money by now and for them not to have a salary in January 2013 it will be a disaster.

  • mcsquire - 2012-12-21 11:07

    the question here is who supplied the system, how was it tested and how was the old system data transfered, when, who and how did they test the system and who was responsible for the implementation phases, and who the bloody hell signed off that the system was fully functional, all of you have said it was the person operating the system, have any of you horses ever though that there could be a glitch in the operating software on the upside human errors do count for 100 % of mistakes on fully functional operating systems, come on sa as flat as a pancake is it still has two sides

  • mcsquire - 2012-12-21 11:13

    this will be very interesting to see if this goes to court, the tax implications here are interesting on the other hand the law also says that you cannot force another person into debt, which is exactly what happened here, you also cannot force a person to work to pay you off as this will be slave labor, the payments will have to come off incrementally or converted into loans, the old sadf would have had an investigation done and concluded by the end of the week, but this is not the old sadf !!!!!!!!! i will be following this popcorn and a coke zero please

  • cpsmit - 2012-12-22 14:53

    The new system is a legacy of apartheid. Blaming the present government now is just another expression of racism.

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