R12 million to stay at home – DA gets the ball rolling on fixing the Public service’s broken disciplinary system

Issued by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister for Public Service and Administration
13 Jun 2022 in News

Please find an attached soundbite by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP

The DA will be writing to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, Hon Tyotyo James, requesting that the Portfolio Committee summon the Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, and the Acting Minister of Public Service and Administration, Thulasi Nxesi, to come and account for the broken discipline management system in the public service.

They must provide firm timelines on when the existing policy on the suspensions of Heads of Departments (HODs) and Director Generals (DGs) will be consolidated to ensure the expeditious and effective management of disciplinary cases, in the public service, in order to avoid an undue burden and costs being placed on the South African taxpayer.

This follows a written response from Minister Gungubele, to a DA Parliamentary question which revealed that the South African tax payer has spent a staggering R12 million paying 6 suspended HODs all of whom are, currently, sitting at home pending the finalisation of their disciplinary cases.

The written response by Minister Gungubele further revealed that all of the suspended HODs have been sitting at home for a period not less than one year and 3 of the suspended HODs have been on suspension as far back as 2020.

The inordinate delays in the finalisation of disciplinary cases, within the public service, have become a recurring problem with no discernible action being taken by the ANC government to fix the problem. At a time when service delivery outcomes continue to fail our people, it is extremely unfair and unreasonable for the South African tax payer to continuously pay the price for the failure, on the part of  government departments, to expeditiously finalise and manage disciplinary cases.

The DA therefore calls on the Presidency to consolidate the existing policy on the suspension of HODs and DGs so as to ensure that these disciplinary cases are finalised within the requisite 90 day period.

In order to get more answers on the inordinate delays in finalising the disciplinary cases pertaining to the suspensions, the DA has submitted further Parliamentary questions to the Minister in Presidency, requesting, amongst other things:

  1. The reasons for the inordinate delays in finalising the disciplinary cases pertaining to the suspensions;
  2. An indication of when the disciplinary cases pertaining to the suspensions will be finalised; and
  3. Clarity on whether the relevant government departments have reported some of the offences giving rise to the suspensions to the relevant law enforcement agencies for further investigation.

The millions of rand that the South African taxpayer continues to pay for suspended officials in the public service have become nothing short of a very expensive cadre deployment tax. This is precisely why the DA has introduced an End Cadre Deployment Bill in Parliament  – to enforce merit-based appointments throughout the public service and also make it illegal for politicians to find employment in the public administration.