Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. File Photo: ANA

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance will look into claims that Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has set up what amounts to an “imperial finance ministry”, the party said on Sunday.

Gigaba claimed there was no truth to the suggestion in the media that he had centralised power in his private office and that all appointments in his private office were in accordance with the Ministerial Handbook, DA spokesman David Maynier said.

However, the Ministerial Handbook for members of the executive and presiding officers was clear:
- The core staff of the private office of the minister may comprise of 10 staff members including chief of staff of the ministry, administrative secretary, media liaison officer, private secretary/appointments secretary, assistant appointments and administrative secretary, parliamentary officer, secretary/receptionist, registry clerk, and aide or driver/messenger; and
- More importantly, the organisational structure of the private office had to be determined after consultation with the minister of public service and administration and in terms of public service regulations.

"The minister reportedly brought in 17 new staff members and took over five existing staff members from his predecessor, bringing the total staff complement of his private office to 22, which appears to be far in excess of the 10 posts provided for in the Ministerial Handbook," Maynier said.

He would therefore submit parliamentary questions probing claims that Gigaba had set up what amounted to an “imperial finance ministry” by requesting him to provide information on the total number of staff members employed in his private office; the names, designations, job descriptions, and salary levels of each staff member in his private office; and whether and when the organisational structure of his private office was approved by the minister of public service and administration.

"We simply cannot afford a 'civil war' between the presidency, the ministry of finance, and National Treasury ahead of the medium-term budget policy statement on 25 October 2017 in parliament," Maynier said.
African News Agency