PINE PIENAAR SPEAKING ON THE ANNUAL REPORT 2008/09 FOR THE OFFICE OF THE PREMIER

One day – Mr Speaker – when the history of the ANC is written, corruption will be noted as one of the reasons for this liberation party’s demise.

Historians will no doubt have quite a few nice things to say about the party that fought for democracy and indeed did lead South Africa into democracy.

But those same historians will also note that liberation movements the world over battle to govern because after liberation, that party grow rotten from the core because of corruption and favouritism. The same fate belies the ANC, because administrative structures within our new government favour the corrupt and smiles on those who want to enrich them selves at the peril of the poor.

If what I have just said is not true, why is it then that when we look at administrative structures within this government that evidence suggest exactly what I am saying?

The portfolio committee on the Office of the Premier has considered the Annual Report and found that the administration in the Office of the Premier was found that there were inadequate motoring controls to ensure that information in financial statements are accurate or complete, anti-corruption strategies were not in place, anti-corruption units were not yet in place and the shared audit committee did not have resources to function properly. The committee found that late coming by civil servant were not monitored. Neither was absenteeism. Absenteeism and late coming is forms of corruption. Some will say it is forms of theft.

Our government is allowing government employees to steal time from the tax payers who are paying their salaries to administer government. And we are allowing the theft because we are not serious about putting structures in place to prevent this. This government is actively supporting those who are the thieves of the time paid for by tax payers.

Hon Speaker –if you have your own business, you pay your own salary and you feel like sleeping late or not going in the office for a day or three, be my guest.

Eventually your business will go bankrupt and you will realise that you have stolen too much time from yourself. This is no crime. It is merely stupid. But – Hon Speaker – if the tax payer is paying your salary and you do the same, it is indeed theft, because you are not your own boss, the tax payer is.

If a government employee – a worker who draws a salary from state coffers – don’t like what I am saying now, he or she should quit their job today, because they are thieves – it is an un-denying fact.

The DA will not stand for this. The DA will not stand by and see year in and year out how the one portfolio committee report after the other flags up ….. a lack of this, a shortage of that, a lack of capacity here, a shortage of personnel there, unable to process this, losses of funds there, one horror story after the other.

My party demand that the Office of the Premier put in place within thirty days strategies to prevent corruption, late coming and absenteeism.

Thirty days is not too short. In the private sector where time is money, that strategy would have been in place even before business started.

I know this because I have worked in the private sector for many years before I became involved in politics, and let me tell the members of this house that if you work for a German company and you are late for work every day, there will not only be hell to pay, but you will soon hear the golden words that any successful economy is based on – YOU ARE FIRED! These are words that should be used much more in this province. Lazy officials get away with murder in our government departments and it seems according to these reports especially in the Office of the Premier.

I am saying NO MORE. Let’s stop this right now. If lazy officials know they will loose their jobs, it will stop.

Gone must be the days when you cannot get rid of corrupt lazy incompetence. Turning to Institution Building and Transformation, our portfolio committee found that the department had no idea what the level and extent of absenteeism and late coming was.

The department did not know how this impacted on the effectiveness and efficiency of work done in the department. As a committee we could not even come up with proper recommendations to counter this because we could not calculate the value of the loss of time and many.

We will have to set up a unit to implement a monitoring mechanism to calculate this before we can establish how to counter this. There were no less than 5 departments who did not yet implement an anti-corruption plan or adhere to the policies of the provincial anti-corruption strategy.

The performance management and development system was not implemented in many cases and not all senior managers have signed performance agreements.

Then how – I ask you Mr Speaker – did these manages qualify for performance bonuses? It implies that every senior manager who have not signed a performance agreement and received and agreed to receive a performance bonus is guilty of corruption.

Hon. Speaker – if we do not fight corruption at institution level – at the level of the Office of our Premier – how will we fight corruption at any other level.

We need to get back to basics. Officials must perform, they must work and they must work effectively. Systems must be in place to monitor performance and systems must be in place to monitor behaviour that constitutes corruption and theft.

I we fail to do this, we are actively promoting criminal behaviour. One day, when our children read in their history books of a political party that was once called the ANC, teacher will say: “Yes, I can vaguely remember the African National Congress. It was the party of Sisulu and that great leader Nelson Mandela. But after that it was downhill for that party. What a pity corruption and favouritism killed them off so quickly.”