Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza has revealed that her department has paid R3.9 million to two top officials who are on suspension in the office of the surveyor general.
Didiza said that the cost of suspension of chief surveyor-general totalled R2 693 663 while that of chief director for cadastral spatial information was R1 217 265.
Didiza revealed this when she was responding to parliamentary questions from DA MP Annette Steyn.
Steyn had enquired about the status of the employment of surveyor-general and chief director for cadastral spatial information and whether they faced disciplinary hearings.
Didiza said the two officials are currently employed in the department.
"The two specified employees are currently facing disciplinary action," she said.
She said the pair were still employed by the department in the branch of national geomatics and management services.
Didiza said the chief surveyor-general was facing disciplinary action on allegations related to irregularities in the handling of Project Vulindlela.
"The matter was referred to the General Public Service Sector Bargaining Council (GPSSBC) for inquiry by the arbitrator and was set down more than three times but did not proceed.
"The department is awaiting the set-down date from the GPSSBC for the matter to proceed," she said.
Didiza also said the chief director for cadastral spatial information was facing disciplinary action on allegations related to irregularities in the handling of Project Vulindlela.
"The matter was referred to the GPSSBC for inquiry by the arbitrator. The department is awaiting the set-down date from the GPSSBC for the matter to proceed."
Both officials have been on suspension for 38 months while taxpayers coughed their salaries.
Didiza said the duration of the suspension of the surveyor-general "commenced on 11 May 2017 and still on suspension".
She stated that the chief director's suspension commenced on 10 May 2017 and was lifted on 4 November 2019.