“We’ve got to close the tap of a second salary...”

Date: Thursday, September 07, 2017

Transparency and ethics reigned supreme over shock revelations that more than R8.7m was paid -within three months- towards travel and subsistence claims by senior and middle managers.

This has prompted an immediate reinforcement of cost containment measures.

The said measures were implemented by National Treasury about two years ago, to ensure the prudent use of the fiscus in order to speed up service delivery.

They were also informed by the shrinking economy and budget cuts across all spheres of government.

However, what was previously brushed aside as sheer speculation, detonated like a bomb during the First Quarter Review meeting held in Rooigrond, Mafikeng. Evidence presented confirmed that 24 senior managers alone, accounted for more than R801 000 of the above-mentioned total.

Individual senior managers (Chief Directors and Directors) claims ranged between R99 000 and R3 000 for the same period.

To curb this from spiraling out of control, Head of Department, Pakiso Mothupi instructed that over and above the cost containment measures:

No claim will be paid if an official invitation is not attached to the request; no claim will be processed if a weekly plan is not attached and no claim will be considered if a detailed back-to-office report is not attached.

Furthermore, the vehicle capacity used for official travel and kilometres travelled in a month will also be standardised for all senior and middle managers effective from end of September.

*Meanwhile, the document management system of the department is in for a major overhaul following a directive by Mothupi that within three months an electronic back-up system must be in place including a secure environment to store hard copies.

Information Technology Unit, Corporate and Security Services have been assigned the task with a mandate to investigate how the Provincial Legislature and the department of Sports and Development (Gauteng) have succeeded in improving their record keeping systems.

“ Record Management in the department is a problem and we have to deal with it and find a solution now,” said Mothupi.

A call for the immediate review of the organisational structure of the department was amplified with the view to have an approved structure by April 01, 2018.

Mothupi said the review of the structure was only a precautionary step, in view of ongoing discussions within government weighing several options and possibilities of establishing a shared service of available technical personnel in the province.

One such option considered was, the business value it could add, that could be consolidated at a central point for service delivery enhancement through optimal use of the scarce skills.

*The brick-making projects, previously in the care of EPWP, would from now become the competency of Transport Infrastructure.

The move is informed by the fact that EPWP coordinates and is not supposed to implement projects, more so that the programme it belongs to is underfunded.

Mothupi said the brick making plants were expected to be rolled-out in several communities soon to manufacture paving bricks for roads with a view to create job opportunities and encourage labour intensive method where possible in some of the road construction projects like access roads in villages.

“ This time around, we do not want a middleman,”warned Mothupi in reference to a service provider (OTP) currently appointed deal with EPWP and its exit strategy of cooperatives establishment.

Mothupi said there was “no value for money” in our relationship with OTP which he said “failed to provide mentoring” to existing cooperatives.

He confirmed the department of Finance, Economy Enterprise Development (FEED) will be in charge of cooperatives going forward and at no cost.

He said the department should be able to pay service providers within seven days, provided work is confirmed done and invoices submitted on time.

This he said would assist to move the expenditure by the department which currently is low.

*Regarding Setsokotsane activities, he said the department should begin to report accurately to the relevant authority in the Office of the Premier including on the 10 x10 points that include pothole patching and fixing of street lights.

ENDS

Issued by Communication Directorate
Contact Person: Matshube Mfoloe
Contact Number: 018 388 4451
E-mail:mmfoloe@nwpg.gov.za