Runaway salaries of EC SOEs

Issued by Retief Odendaal, MPL
Shadow MEC for Finance

At a time when interest rate hikes and rising food and fuel prices are making it increasingly difficult for people to make ends meet, executives of the ten Eastern Cape Provincial Entities are still living their best lives.

Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, needs to stop the gravy train and make good on his promise to rationalise these entities. He needs to shut down these bloated, inefficient, revenue-draining entities that add no value to the province.

In response to a parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance, the Eastern Cape Provincial Treasury has revealed that the ten Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of our provincial entities earned an eyewatering R28,132 million during the past financial year (2021/22).

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The CEO of the Coega Development Corporation is now the highest-paid provincial official in the province with an annual remuneration of R5,678 million, excluding bonuses. The second most well-remunerated official in the province is the CEO of the Eastern Cape Gambling Board who receives a total package of R3,953 million per annum, also excluding any potential bonuses.

For the 2021/22 financial year, R888,000.00 has been paid in performance bonuses between two of the CEOs. Two did not receive bonuses, and the other six are still waiting to hear if they will be receiving bonuses.

Astonishingly, six of the ten CEOs also managed to receive performance bonuses to the value of R8,588 million during the previous financial year (2020/21), amidst the worst of the Covid19 pandemic and hard lockdowns.

When these performance bonuses are added to the remuneration packages of these CEOs, the province spent a whopping R35,578 million on salaries during the last financial year.

It is no secret that the bulk of the Eastern Cape’s Provincial Entities are a drain on the public purse while offering little to no return for the funds they are receiving. And, while the Provincial Legislature has recognised this, and has called for a review of these entities and for those not delivering to be rationalised, very little has actually been done.

Instead, the Eastern Cape government has budgeted R3,587 billion to be spent on its 10 provincial entities over the next three years, making it highly unlikely that the SOE gravy train will be brought to a stop any time soon.

The DA will fight for the people’s money to be protected and will continue to call for the rationalisation of our SOEs. We will also be requesting that benchmarking be done insofar as the remuneration packages of these top officials are being done.

The province would be much better served if these entities were rationalised, and the grants provided were allocated to address critical service delivery issues facing the province.