The DA welcomes the move for provincial treasury to approve all staff appointments for all departments in the province. This must also be extended to the public entities.
Currently, the bloated bureaucracy accounts for 65% of all provincial expenditure.
Centralising staff appointments under the control of treasury is only one part of the job. The other part entails having the political will to make tough decisions to reduce the wage will.
This year the wage bill is going to go up by 7.5% whereas the equitable share which the province received only went up by 6.8% and conditional grants by 1.7%
This move is also welcomed because it will limit some of the opportunities for cadre deployment and jobs-for-pals.
But there needs to be strong political will to enforce a wage ceiling in all departments to prevent this province from simply being an employment agency.
The public entities are costing the province far too much, with the average salary at the East London Industrial Development Zone, for example, being R730 000, salaries at the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board averaging R626 000 and R460 000 at the Eastern Cape Liquor Board.
The DA also believes the Persal-system (government payroll system) must be locked, with only Treasury having the power to open it, otherwise names will slip in through the cracks.
If the government is serious about dealing with the bloated bureaucracy in the Eastern Cape it needs to address the following issues:
- The 5 478 additional teachers in the province;
- The 32 000 civil servants on extended sick leave and the 12 000 who have reportedly been off for more than six years; and
- Offering early retirement for people over the age of 63 in non-core posts, which can save in the region of R2-billion.
Billions could be saved from dealing decisively with these issues.
What this province requires is leadership that is prepared to ensure that we reduce the size of our bloated bureaucracy and free up funding for service delivery. This is the only way can we ensure that the Eastern Cape becomes a province of rising opportunity for all and creates jobs. — Bobby Stevenson, MPL, Shadow MEC for Finance