Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane Photo: Reuters
Cape Town - The Office of the Public Protector has asked for additional funding, amounting to more than R884 million from the National Treasury for the next three financial years.

The figure has been reduced from the R1billion the institution requested to stay afloat when it tabled its budget earlier this year.

Briefing the justice and correctional services portfolio committee on Thursday, Public Protector advocate Busi Mkhwebane said the institution’s organisational structure was inadequately funded and they needed to establish an internal audit unit, among other things.

The cost of the envisaged internal audit unit will be R3.5m compared to the R1.4m currently spent on outsourcing the function.

“We made (a) submission to National Treasury to assist in that aspect,” Mkhwebane said.

“We depend on the committee and Parliament to motivate and assist to acquire more funding.”

Also briefing the committee, chief executive Themba Dlamini said the institution had 707 posts in its organogram and only 392 posts were presently funded.

“The office requires an additional funding of R746474926 over the medium term to fully fund the organisational structure. It is imperative that Public Protector of South Africa be funded properly in order to execute its constitutional mandate,” Dlamini said.

He said there was a need to implement job evaluation conducted last year for administration personnel and align salaries of investigators with occupational specific dispensation requirements.

“To avoid CCMA court battles and staff discouragement, it is imperative that staff salaries be corrected to promote productivity.”

A total of R26m in additional funding would be spent on their case management system and R18m on litigation, amid the growing number of their reports being taken on judicial review.

A figure of R7.5m has been requested for video conferencing facilities, R9m for an integrated telephone system and call centre as well as R31m for subject matter experts used in complex investigations.

Dlamini also said R19m was requested to beef up security at their offices. “It should be noted that PPSA deals with sensitive cases and investigations which require safekeeping and security of information.

“Security of our offices is therefore key and important and requires immediate funding.”

Security at state institutions has been an issue with break-ins reported at offices of the National Prosecuting Authority and the chief justice.

Mkhwebane’s home was recently vandalised.

Political Bureau