Parliament, Cape Town - United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa called on Tuesday for a probe into the government's reliance on consultants.
“The over-reliance of state departments on consultants and independent contractors requires urgent attention,” he told the National Assembly during debate on President Jacob Zuma's state-of-the-nation speech.
According to the Auditor General's report, national government departments spent R33.5 billion on consultants between 2009 and 2011, while provincial departments spent another R68.5bn Ä a total of R102bn.
“This is a damning indictment of a modern day public administration.
“It is also clear that there are serious structural and organisational deficiencies which cause departments to procure the services of consultants, to do that which the taxpayers pay them to do,” he said.
The Public Service Commission should be asked to investigate and report on the causes of this over-reliance by state departments on consultants and independent contractors.
“The truth of the matter... is that the goals of the National Development Plan will not be realised if government continues to appoint incompetent people 1/8to senior public service positions 3/8.”
The billions of rand wasted on consultants could have been used to create jobs, Holomisa said.
He said it was possible to reduce unemployment.
“ 1/8Among other things 3/8 This can be done by government refurbishing all the abandoned factories in areas such as Dimbaza, Butterworth, Queenstown, and Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape; KwaMhlanga, in Mpumalanga; Ekurhuleni, in Gauteng; Thohoyandou, in Limpopo, and Mmabatho, in North West, with a view to creating jobs for the youth.
“We should partner with leading international companies in the textile and steel manufacturing industries, in a mentorship programme for the youth,” Holomisa said.
Upon completion of this mentorship programme, graduates should be put in charge of these factories.
The much talked about youth wage subsidy should be structured in a way that accommodated a programme of this nature, he said. - Sapa