Home Affairs hit by shortage of staff

2016-02-09 13:21
A queue outside Home Affairs on Church Street, Pietermaritzburg.

A queue outside Home Affairs on Church Street, Pietermaritzburg. (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - A lack of civil servants with dedicated finance skills, vacancies and some offices relying on manual data collection, contributed to the Department of Home Affairs receiving a disclaimer audit opinion for the 2013/14 year.

This was the finding during the oversight visit of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) after it made its way to the provincial office in Pietermaritzburg, the Lady­smith district offices and Dukuza satellite office in July last year.

The delegation, which was headed by chairperson Themba Godi, had found that the provincial office had only five officials to perform all functions of Supply Chain Management and Finance.

The report which was tabled at the National Assembly last week, also found that there was shortage of staff (in budget and revenue) to reconcile the monthly revenue collected with the revenue banked.

“There is no dedicated staff for records management. Civic officials are used to doing asset management due to the unavailability of an asset verification team, therefore the asset count is not conducted regularly,” the report said.

The delegation also found that there were challenges with network connectivity — which is non-existence in Dukuza.

While Pietermaritzburg has four servers, the centre faces a challenge brought about by the integration of other departments to the same network.

In Dukuza’s satellite office, work is done manually and electronic work is done by the district office.

“Records dating back to 1940 are still kept in the office,” the report said.

The delegation was told that at times there is a low attendance at outreach programmes driven by the department and brought to the remote areas of the province, mainly because these are not properly announced.

The committee recommended that the filling of vacant posts be fast-tracked and that cash collected be banked on a daily basis.

The auditor-general’s report had found that there was inability to ­obtain sufficient and appropriate ­audit evidence regarding revenue, payables, accruals, commitments, assets and liabilities.

• sabelo.nsele@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  home affairs

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