Johannesburg - The Water and Sanitation Department paid R30 million in bonuses to its officials in the 2016/17 financial year, despite poorly managing its finances.
This came to light on Monday in a parliamentary reply from the minister, Nomvula Mokonyane, to a written question by the DA’s Anchen Dreyer.
Dreyer had asked for the total amount that was paid out in bonuses to employees in Mokonyane’s department and a detailed breakdown of the bonus paid to each employee in each salary level.
Mokonyane said a total of 1961 employees pocketed R30496 693 in performance bonuses.
She said two officials in the senior management service (levels 13 and 14) pocketed R58092.84 and R69069.60 respectively in bonuses. And the rest was shared among the other employees.
Mokonyane defended the payment of the performance bonuses, saying 1.5% of the total provision for salaries was allocated towards performance reviews.
“This regulation is provided for by the Department of Public Service and Administration.
“My department has complied with the regulation and a total of 1961 employees qualified for performance bonuses,” Mokonyane told MPs.
And the officials in the departments seem destined for yet another windfall.
“Performance rewards for the 2017/18 financial year have not been finalised, as the financial year ends in March 2018,” Mokonyane added.
She was responding to another written question with regard to the total estimated amount to be paid out in bonuses to employees in her department in the 2017/18 financial year.
The payment of the bonuses takes place against the background of a department that overspent its budget by R110.8m in the 2016/17 financial year.
“This is as a result of a net loss of R89m; an overdraft of R191m; and unauthorised expenditure of R406m by the department for the period under review,” the portfolio committee said.
In a budget review and recommendations report tabled on Monday, the committee said the department’s liabilities exceeded its assets by R454m.
The committee has been critical of the over-expenditure in the department, saying it pointed to the lack of proper planning and control of the department’s finances.
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu made damning findings in his report when he audited the department whose head, Dan Mashitisho, is still on suspension.
The department incurred R4.1billion in irregular expenditure by using agents who did not comply with tender procedures.
“The department did not have a proper internal control system to ensure all tender processes conducted on behalf of the department by implementing agents were adhered to,” Makwetu pointed out.
“When implementing agents are contracted by the department, this does not release the department from ensuring that funds spent on their behalf by the agents comply with the supply-chain management regulations that the department is subjected to,” he added.
The report said a whopping R1.3bn in irregular expenditure was incurred in this manner.