ADMIN CHAOS IN BHISHO: DAILY DISPATCH

FINANCE MEC Phumulo Masualle slammed administrative chaos in the provincial health and education departments yesterday and insisted the treasury would not pay staff hired without proper budgets.

In a tough meeting with the provincial portfolio committee on finance in Bhisho yesterday, Masualle said senior departmental officials were holding his department to ransom.

He said they expected the department to authorise the hiring of personnel for whom no financial provision had been made.

“Nobody gets employed accidentally. When one gets appointed, it’s not something that happens and then at the end of the month someone says ‘by the way, this person has to be paid’,” he said.

Responding to questions from DA finance spokesman Bobby Stevenson, Masualle said: “No amount of pressure will make us succumb to people wanting things to happen without these control measures being met.

“Otherwise there is no point – we might as well close shop and say there is no need for a treasury.

“Perhaps then the whole province needs to be taken over if we conduct ourselves in that fashion.”

Mkhangeli Matomela, chairman of the finance committee, said the province faced huge infrastructure backlogs but some departments continued to spend excessively on personnel.

Addressing the committee yesterday, treasury head Marion MbinaMthembu said more than 10 000 health and education contract workers and some medical doctors might not get paid at the end of this month because the departments didn’t provide the required paper work. These include:

More than 6 000 health contract workers who had not been paid as the department’s health officials failed to renew their contracts timeously;

The contracts of 4 000 adult basic education teachers and early childhood directors were not renewed by the provincial education department at the end of the financial year, and there is no hope they will be paid anytime soon, as no supporting documents had been submitted to treasury to date; and

About 26 specialist doctors from the Port Elizabeth area have not been paid their April salaries, due to budgeting woes.

Mbina-mthembu blamed the health department’s human resources division for the plight of the health contract workers.

“Both the departments of health and education continue to promise us they will fill critical posts in human resources.

“Both (departments) have no deputy director-generals to run those departments. And without appropriate skills in HR management, we are going to have these problems.”

Mbina-mthembu insisted her department was on top things and had informed Premier Noxolo Kiviet’s office about the personnel crisis in health.

Masualle said the bottom line was nobody should be spending money that had not been budgeted for.

“We have stuck to that line even to a point where treasury is seen as the old guard.

“If we are not custodians of the revenue fund, and allow people to do as they wish, then this province is going down the tubes.

“Nobody cares about budgeting. They say it must be done, so we have done it,” he said.