Millions paid to officials to stay at home while under investigation

The Department of Social Development has paid out close on R5,2 million in salaries to 34 suspended officials facing charges of, among others, corruption and financial mismanagement.

Eight of these officials, who have already cost the Department close on R1 million, are still sitting at home, drawing salaries, while waiting for their appeals against their dismissals to be finalised.

In response to a parliamentary question, Department of Social Development MEC, Dr Pumza Dyantyi, confirmed that the pay-outs were made to officials who had been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of investigations between 2015 and 2018.

Reviewing the breakdown provided, reveals that:

  • In 2015 R 1,13 million was paid out to two officials, before they were dismissed;
  • In 2016 no officials were suspended on paid leave;
  • In 2017 R2,25 million was paid out to 17 officials;
  • In 2018 R871 thousand was paid out to seven officials whose cases had been finalised and;
  • a further R949 thousand has been paid so far to eight officials still awaiting the outcome of their appeals against their dismissals.

SEE: IQP34 Q468

Dyantyi revealed that in 18 cases the appeals authority had dismissed the appeal, and in a further 11 cases, officials were still waiting for their appeals to be finalised.

Of the five remaining cases, two officials had been dismissed, one had the charges withdrawn, one had their provisional suspension uplifted, and one died while waiting for their appeal to be finalised.

It is clear from these figures, that the Department lacks effectiveness when it comes to investigations and the disciplinary processes need to drastically improved.

A competent investigator must be assigned immediately to ensure that these investigations and disciplinary hearings can be finalised.

The Democratic Alliance believes money meant for providing social welfare services to the most vulnerable and poor of our province, should be spent on those services and not on rewarding corrupt officials with extended paid leave while investigations into their alleged wrongdoing is dragged out.

A DA-led government will establish an independent unit dedicated to identifying and prosecuting officials that break the law and we will protect and encourage ‘whistle blowers’ who identify and report these officials.