Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu. File photo

CAPE TOWN - The government spends close to R30 billion in public money to "fund the millionaire lifestyles" of 27,650 managers in the public service, the DA said on Sunday.

"This staggering expenditure emerged from a series of parliamentary questions asked by the DA over the past few months," DA spokesperson of public service and administration, Leon Schreiber said in a statement.

It also illustrated just how top-heavy the South African state had become as a consequence of the ANC’s cadre deployment policy, he said.

According to Public Service and Administration minister Senzo Mchunu, the government currently spent R7.2 billion per year on middle managers in provincial governments, R6.1 billion on senior managers in provinces, R8.1 billion on middle managers in national government, and R8.3 billion on senior managers in national government.

On average, each of the 9774 senior managers in national and provincial government took home R1.4 million per year, with the highest level managers being paid just under R2 million per year.

This was in sharp contrast to the average annual salary of R169,466 paid to a police officer, the average teacher’s salary of R273,209, and the average R302,000 paid to a nurse per year.

"This vulgar expenditure on millionaire managers shows that the ANC is more interested in maintaining the luxury lifestyles of its cadres – many of whom have been purposefully deployed to managerial positions to capture the state – than in delivering the quality frontline services that South Africans deserve," Schreiber said. 

"If the government cut the number of managers in the public service by half, we could immediately hire an additional 175,000 police officers, 54.000 teachers, or 49,000 nurses."

In light of these worrying new figures, the DA reiterated its call for a comprehensive public expenditure review and the eradication of cadre deployment. The government should urgently rightsize the state by drastically reducing the number of managers in the public service and instead spending those billions on the frontline service delivery workers that created opportunities for citizens to prosper, Schreiber said.

African News Agency