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Durban - Communications Minister Yunus Carrim was running his department like a spaza shop, portfolio committee chairman Sikhumbuzo Kholwane said on Thursday.
The department, which has failed to fill key positions and allegedly allowed senior managers bonuses they didn’t deserve, was leaderless, he said.
Carrim, his deputy, Stella Thembisa-Abrahams, and the department’s director-general, Rosey Sekese failed to appear before the committee in Parliament on Thursday to deal with the auditor-general’s report, which painted a picture of a malfunctioning department.
Instead they sent Norman Phiri, the deputy director-general of policy formulation, and Sam Vilakazi, deputy director-general of administration.
Committee members said Auditor-General Terence Nombembe had been working “full-time” since last year to assist the department’s “incompetent” internal auditor.
“The way this department is run, it has clearly become a spaza shop. It is completely disorganised,” ANC MP Charles Kekana said.
Nombembe’s report said the department did not pay suppliers on time and left posts vacant for five years. Vacancies were up from 29.5 percent last year to 37 percent, so staff had to do work they were not trained for.
Phiri said their attempt to attract senior and experienced people had been unsuccessful.
“We are looking for engineers, but they don’t apply. We get people who come from school, but we are looking for managers,” he said.
“Maybe people don’t want to work for the department because you are not the employer of choice,” Kholwane said.