Sisulu defends wage bill

2013-02-20 20:04

Cape Town - Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu defended government's "wage bill" and insisted it was being reduced.

Speaking during debate in the National Assembly on President Jacob Zuma's state-of-the-nation speech, she said the wage bill had been reduced from 37% of the budget to 34% in a short period.

The government was committed to further reducing it in the next six months, Sisulu said.

"We have brought it down through a number of cost saving exercises in the public service in particular."

It was also important to note that the wage bill was not the money paid to public servants.

"It is the totality of the money that government spends on salaries of all the people who are paid through the public purse."

These included public office bearers, the judiciary, Chapter 9 institutions, and the public service at national, provincial, and local government level.

Sisulu said it was generally accepted that the output of the public service was less than desirable.

"We are all very concerned about it and our responsibility is to do something about it."

Of serious concern, was the quality of the public service, corruption in the public service, and the over-reliance on consultants to do what the state was supposed to do.

These went to the core of what the national development plan (NDP) said about creating the capacity of the state to ensure that state machinery functioned efficiently and effectively and the services promised to citizens could be delivered.

The stability and effectiveness of the public sector was greatly dependent on the commitment and devotion of its staff.

"The current view to render teaching as an essential service must be welcomed. Also to be welcomed is the stance that we will establish a Presidential Remuneration Commission."

The remuneration commission would determine whether value for money was being obtained and whether public servants were remunerated in line with their output.

The commission was Zuma's answer to a long-standing salary structure problem.

Sisulu said the current capacity of the state to deal with corruption in the public service had been reviewed.

"Our assessment is that the current capacity is unable to deal effectively with the scope and scale of the challenge we face.

"That is why we are planning to create an Anti-Corruption Bureau, a body that, together with the SIU [special investigations unit] and other law enforcement agencies will have the necessary powers and authority to deal with major cases of misconduct, especially by SMS [senior management service] members and financial misconduct in the public sector."

The bureau would have powers and authority to investigate across the whole of government and would be responsible for investigating, documenting, and maintaining databases and ensuring that disciplinary cases were finalised expeditiously.

Government also remained very dismayed at the number of public servants doing business with the state.

"The NDP and the Public Service Commission have recommended that we prohibit public servants from doing business with the state.

"We have accepted this recommendation and we are working on legislation to effect this and henceforth no public servant would be allowed to do business with the state," she said.

  • elgh.elgh - 2013-02-20 20:22

    Yes stealing the money, is called "Paying salaries"

      Vishen - 2013-02-20 21:09

      The first thing you need to do in the public sector is ditch the unions, then make the entire government an essential service. This will allow the easy "firing" of non performers. Also abolish affirmative action, thereby ensuring productivity and efficiency...the best man for the job. Any other approach and you wasting your time, Minister!

      charlesbronson.bronson - 2013-02-20 21:59

      You are a lying corrupted thief!!!

      Philip - 2013-02-20 23:13

      Did Zuma order his minions to trot out some propagander to try and prop up his lies he told in his SotN address?

      Jack - 2013-02-20 23:18

      Does that means that Fraser-Moleketi will be hauled before Parliament and asked to explain her contribution to the state of the Public Service over two terms?. Or is it bygones be bygones, be bygones and again and again....

  • Amdyn - 2013-02-20 20:27

    So this is again a bit of misdirection. What is included in the "Wage" bill ? Do "perks" such as government vehicles appear ? The scary thing is our budget is R1 trillion. Government therefore spends between 340 to 370 billion every year on wages ? Seems like a lot to me.... when you consider that there are only 4 million taxpayers ... And I doubt this is the full cost of each person (e.g. Nkandla etc)

      silvia.vaneck2 - 2013-02-20 22:02

      Womba, Not everyone pays 14% VAT because basic foodstuff is VAT exempt!! Some people only pay vat on minimal monthly purchases.

      Moagi Mohohlo - 2013-02-21 00:48

      The higher the salary in Public Service, the more the tax. One pays back more for accepting and for being worthy of a higher post and responsibility. The government can safe money by deciding on modest vehicles and housing for all their employees and should that happen costs for vehicles and properties will be checked and be affordable to all. All these ministerial handbooks have separated bearers with the masses because ministers travel first class thus do not mix with ordinary people at the back of plane where they could join in community conversations or eavesdrop on happy conversations of fellow passengers. A minister could hear comments of workers in their departments discussing resolutions of meetings the workers attended that day meaning they could be doing unplanned monitoring and evaluation of the performance of thier departments right from the production units themselves. But whats the use!

      fransvisserdsb - 2013-02-21 10:03

      Womba, the atual numbers are scary - 34% of the state income is from PIT (Personal Income Tax) with Company tax making up a mere 20% and VAT 26% - and this is expected to be a lot less in the current economic climate. There are just over 5.5 million registered tax payers, but 65% of PIT is paid by a small number of people - 14% of the taxpayers who earn in excess of 300k/year. Even more interesting is that 8.5% of the taxpayers - a mere 361 000 individuals, who earn in excess of 400k/year, pay 53% of the PIT.

      fransvisserdsb - 2013-02-21 10:04

      This basically means that ALL our income tax is just enough to pay the state's salary bill. Scary.

  • Rampant - 2013-02-20 20:29

    Pot calling the kettle black.

  • frederick.kaczynski - 2013-02-20 20:30

    says the woman who throws a tantrum when she doesn't get first royal treatment at every turn.

  • ian.boyd.7503 - 2013-02-20 20:33

    'Planning' this, 'working on' that, 'investigating' the other, 'reviewing' something else. Errr... how about DOING something. You'd better buck up chick, sharpish, if you want to avoid making the Greek crisis look like a teddy bears' picnic.

      jason.cotton.963 - 2013-02-20 21:25

      This is exactly the problem with SAA - failure to execute. Some people don't understand that throwing good money after bad money does not solve problems. When you only have a hammer every problem looks like a nail. Ag well ..

  • SJ - 2013-02-20 20:39

    Ag shame, a pity-full little excuse from someone who will not be allowed near government in any other right thinking state. The wage bill should be measured against performance and that is where the problem lies. At current performance rates, the wage bill should basically be R0!!!

  • MrGrumpy - 2013-02-20 20:43

    Whatever became of that hooha regarding all this dolly's flights? Or was the evidence hidden in that bird's nest on her head?

  • AndrĂ© Smit - 2013-02-20 20:43

    I have made up my mind. I am voting for KFC (yes the people that sell chicken fast foods) in the next election. Atleast when I give them money, I get chicken back in one form or another. We pay taxes and we just about pay taxes on taxes. Is this money not supposed to be used for better education and healthcare and other basic services? Is this money not supposed to be used to uplift the poor? I am so relieved that their will be a percentage cut in the wages, but if you cut it by 2 percent, our politicians will just help themselves to 5 (if we are lucky).

      gary.gordon.961993 - 2013-02-20 20:57

      Best comment I've read all day. I too shall vote for the colonel.

      fransvisserdsb - 2013-02-21 10:06

      My vote will go to Nando's - they don't just give you chicken, you get a bit of Spice and also a dollop of humour.

  • tlotlo.phele - 2013-02-20 20:49

    Woooza Agang SA

  • pierre.walt - 2013-02-20 21:33

    Same as all ANC stats. You lie you bugger you lie. Where does the stats come from?

  • etienne.labuschagne.7 - 2013-02-20 21:42

    Did you cut spending or increase the budget .......?

      Dylan - 2013-02-21 07:36

      Ed Zachary

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2013-02-20 21:56

    South Africa's very own QUEEN OF SHOWTIME spits on the citizens again? Did she leave her tried and trusted steed "the broom" at the door of parliament or simply take free-for-all flights instead?

  • Philip - 2013-02-20 22:13

    To address corruption you need to start with Zuma who ripped us off for millions in the arms deal and Nkandla scandals. Do that and we might believe your crap. - 2013-02-21 10:04

      For as long as the presidents spending is ignored, the public will ignore governments promises.

  • luna.moon.5243817 - 2013-02-21 07:07

    Interesting that the government is concerned about the public service salaries. Its as if somebody else (not the government) appointed this army of public servants and given them above inflation salary increases every year. Somebody should tell the compulsive flyer that it is in fact the government itself (cANCer), who created this incompetent monster.

  • sisie.indola - 2013-02-21 07:30

    We have cut costs, but we are going to start a "new" Anti Corruption Bureau - wow what a contradiction in terms. This government will never gt it right. The Animal Farm scenario is gettting more and more prevalent every day.

  • Dylan - 2013-02-21 07:36

    Spending cut? Methinks the spending has been about the same for the piggies at the trough... It's the GDP that's increased marginally... Spending cut by 3% is a claim in the face of GDP growth of close to the 3%... If the coffers grew by say 3% and you still spend 37% of GDP it seems like you've trimmed about 1.5% off the figure... A famous statistician always claimed that there's lies, lies, lies and then statistics!

  • firmsly.kabelo - 2013-02-21 09:36

    Politicians,Government employees shouldn't do business with government cause thats were corruption is excelling and most of this senior and middle managers are connected to the ruling ANC. But I dont see ANC goverment doing anything about this.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-02-21 10:07

    Sisulu, if you stop flying here, there and everywhere, that should already cut costs.

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