Johannesburg – The Public Servants Association (PSA) says that it is worried, indicating that the government lost R12 billion owing to non-compliance and fraud at most service-delivery departments and state-owned enterprises.
The PSA said that it was clear that there was an absence of accountability and no desire to improve the performance of government institutions.
“The reported material irregularity at national and provincial departments and their entities is attributed to unfair, uncompetitive, and uneconomical procurement processes and payment for goods and services that were not received,” read a PSA statement.
The trade union organisation said that the overpricing is the result of kickbacks, a practice widely accepted in the public service where politically connected and corrupt officials are involved, as confirmed by the Zondo Commission.
Money is spent without caution and with no regard to the legislative framework, resulting in penalties and interest that could have been avoided.
“Late payments are the order of the day in government.
“Only three departments received a clean audit, the Western Cape Department of Health, the Western Cape Department of Transport, and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlements.
“Of the 15 state-owned entities audited by Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke, only two received a clean audit, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa.
“It is extremely worrisome that the AG is again reporting the same issues with no improvement, although it is reported that her intervention saved the government losses of at least R600 million and the recovery process is under way for R1 billion,” added the PSA.
They added that it was not surprising that the AG recommended the need for capacitating institutions and individuals — a continuous call by the PSA that was not heeded by a deaf and arrogant government.
The AG further recommended that the point of departure must be “the filing of vacancies with the right type of officials” and not owing to connections and loyalty to masters.
Capable, ethical, and qualified employees must be appointed as dictated by the work at hand if the performance of government institutions is to improve.
“The cadre deployment policy, where competency is not a requirement, has paralysed government institutions and created fertile ground for theft and looting.
“The PSA has repeatedly called on the government to fill vacancies with competent people.
“Instead, government is blinded by the obsession to reduce the wage bill and is threatening to retrench more officials at the expense of service delivery by understaffed departments,” added the trade union organisation.
They said that the government is pleading poverty when it comes to salary increases for committed public servants but shows no interest in closing the leakage as corrupt individuals continue to benefit.
“Public servants cannot be used as a scapegoat for mass looting while being expected to appreciate a meagre 3% salary increase despite the soaring cost of living.
“Maladministration, corruption, and abuse of power will continue to thrive until there is the political will to stop the rot and prosecute offenders,” they said.