Government cutting down on suspended employees as monthly cost runs up into millions
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Johannesburg – The government is cutting down on employees on suspension, where costs were running into millions of rands every month.
Former Minister of Public Service and Administration, Senzo Mchunu, said the costs were coming down as the backlog of disciplinary cases was being reduced.
However, the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal were two provinces with most of the cases, amounting to more money paid to officials paid for sitting at home.
Opposition parties have complained about the number of officials paid while their disciplinary cases dragged on for months and sometimes years.
The government established a unit to deal with disciplinary cases and reduce this backlog.
“The unit adopted a project in (the third quarter) of 2020/2021 to assist those departments with long outstanding precautionary suspensions to address their backlogs and, as a result, the costs for precautionary suspensions.
“Due to the project, by end of March 2021, provinces finalised 78% of their precautionary backlogs (Q1: 1% - Q2: 8%, Q 3: 18% and Q4: 78%).
“The cost for precautionary suspensions was reduced, with the cost for national departments stabilising around R20 million per quarter and the cost for provinces decreasing from the first quarter to the last quarter with almost R25 million (Q1: R87 million compared to Q4: R62 million).
“The unit specifically focused on two provinces with the highest costs pertaining to precautionary suspensions: Free State and Kwa-Zulu Natal,” said Mchunu.
He continued: “The Free State managed to reduce their cost from R12 million in Q3 to R6 million in Q4. KZN reduced its cost from a high of R92 million in Q3 to R21 million in Q4. The amounts are based on information captured on Persal and verified by departments,” said Mchunu.