Taxpayers pay R85m to suspended state workers who are sitting at home

Public service and administration minister Senzo Mchunu said the R85m figure excludes a number of departments and two entire provinces which failed to provide the numbers.
Picture: Jackie Clausen

Taxpayers have paid more than R85m in salaries to suspended employees who are sitting at home waiting for their cases to be concluded.

A whopping R74m of the amount was spent by provincial governments, while national departments spent just over R11.4m on suspended officials since April 2018.

Public service and administration minister Senzo Mchunu revealed in a written parliamentary reply on Thursday that 458 government employees were suspended with full pay. His reply shows that 187 of them worked for national departments, with cases involving 103 of them finalised while 84 were still pending. The total cost of precautionary suspensions for national departments was R11.4m, said Mchunu.

He revealed that there were 271 employees suspended with full pay at provincial departments. Of those cases, only 41 had been finalised while 230 were pending.

The total cost of precautionary suspensions for provincial departments was R74,068,656.

“The cost of suspension is calculated as paid salaries while the employee is on precautionary suspension,” said Mchunu.

The real costs are much higher, however, as Mchunu’s information did not include statistics from Gauteng or Mpumalanga, which had not been submitted to his department, he said.

It also did not include statistics from the department of justice & constitutional development, the department of rural development & land reform, the department of women, youth and people with disabilities, and Statistics SA — despite letters sent to them requesting statistics.

Mchunu was responding to a question from DA MP Leon Schreiber, who wanted to know details on the number of employees who are suspended with full pay and the amount the government was spending on salaries for public service employees on suspension since April 1 2018.

By Andisiwe Makinana – TimesLIVE

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