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SA salary versus service delivery shock

 

By News24WireSeptember 5, 20158 Comments

SA salary versus service delivery shock

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Trade union Solidarity has expressed its dismay at a report which found that the North West province has spent billions of rands paying the salaries of 36,000 public servants who cannot be accounted for.

The report by the City Press, found that the North-West Province had an annual budget of R26 billion in the past financial year, with a staggering R19 billion spent on salaries versus R3 billion spent on service delivery.

The cost of the salaries paid in one month to the 36,000 ghost workers in Northwest Province is approximately 3.5 times more than the money that has been spent up to now on President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home, trade union Solidarity said.

The average provincial official earns about R25,000 per month. When multiplied by 36,000, it amounts to R900 million.

Solidarity noted that the Auditor General’s report for 2013-’14 indicated that the province needed R1 billion to eliminate its deficit, meaning that one month’s salaries paid to the ghost workers would be enough to eliminate the current budget deficit.

Dr Eugene Brink, political analyst at Solidarity, said that salaries are currently gobbling up 58% (R18.3 billion) of the budget while the remaining 42% (R13.5 billion) is all that remains for goods and services, and capital expenditure.

The latest AG report also indicated other alarming trends regarding the misappropriation of funds and irregular expenditure. Only one provincial entity – the Treasury – received a clean audit, Solidarity said.

Sixteen entities received an auditor’s opinion of “unqualified with findings”, eight entities received “qualified with findings” and six were not completed on time due to inadequate reporting.

“According to the AG, the financial well-being of 59% of provincial entities give rise for concern and that of 34% require intervention. Therefore, only 7% are financially sound,” Brink said.

In addition, unauthorised expenditure of R343.6 million was incurred in 2013-’14 and it was all due to overspending on the budget, the trade union said.

The Premier’s Office was responsible for most of the unproductive and wasteful spending – R22.8 million. “It is shocking that the Premier and his staff are the ringleaders when it comes to wasteful spending of taxpayers’ money – that is not responsible leadership at all,” Brink said.

One of the biggest culprits was the Provincial Department of Education which incurred unauthorised expenses of almost R256 million.

The Health Department incurred R725 million in irregular expenses and the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport were guilty of irregular expenses of more than R161 million.

Brink said it was ironic that service delivery in these departments were among the worst in the province.

“Hospitals and roads in the province are in such a dismal condition and in addition to that, hundreds of millions of rands are wasted. Despite that, the Provincial Government wants to officially change the name of the province. A name change cannot be justified at all if this scale of wasteful expenditure is taken into account. It will cost billions of rands more which could be used for much-needed service delivery,” Brink said.