Minister Dlodlo welcomes decrease in number of civil servants doing business with the state

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Through Mayibongwe Maqhina 1h ago

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Civil Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo attributed the reduction in the number of civil servants doing business with the state to the effectiveness of the interventions put in place by the civil service to tackle the problem.

The total number of civil servants believed to have done business with the state had dropped significantly to 118 by June 2021, Dlodlo said in a written response to parliamentary questions from Inkatha Freedom Party lawmaker Russel Cebekhulu.

These included 38 employees from national departments and 80 from provincial departments, she said.

Public servants are prohibited from doing business with the state.

The Dlodlo department reports monthly on employees who have dealt with the state from the National Treasury’s central supplier database, then alerts their departments to take appropriate action and provide reports of progress on the measures taken.

Dlodlo said the National Treasury had found 1,068 employees who reportedly did business with the state at the end of March 2019, including 270 employees from national departments and 798 from provincial departments.

As of April 2020, the number stood at 1,539, of which 1,111 were employees of provincial departments and 428 those at the national level.

The minister said her department was working closely with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to assist in the investigation and prosecution of cases of employees criminally accused of committing crimes. affairs with the state.

“SAPS is currently investigating 17 employees suspected of doing business with the state and three of those cases have already been referred to the NPA for prosecution,” Dlodlo said. “One of those cases went to court. “

Dlodlo said his department follows up with departments on a quarterly basis to verify any disciplinary action taken against the employees involved.

Meanwhile, various measures have been put in place to treat employees sitting at home with full pay.

Independent Media reported in March that former minister Senzo Mchunu told DA MP Mimmy Gondwe in a written response to parliamentary questions that national and provincial departments pay R4.5 billion to civil servants facing criminal charges. disciplinary proceedings between 2019 and 2021.

Dlodlo said that as part of its oversight and advisory mandate, the Civil Service Commission held a meeting with its department in May 2021 to deliberate on the issue of disciplinary management and extended suspensions.

The ministry said it had hired a service provider to help develop a strategy on how to deal with the backlog of disciplinary cases, she said.

The minister said the commission and the ministry are exploring various options, including reinstating employees whose cases have gone beyond the 90-day period, where the fault in question is not of a serious nature.

Consideration has also been given to reassigning employees whose cases have exceeded 90 days and are not of a serious nature to other units within ministries or the civil service.

“Establishing a capacity pool (ie labor relations officers) within the public service to deal with backlog cases within prescribed timeframes; and the appointment of contract workers / service providers who have the required expertise to handle some of the cases within the prescribed deadlines, ”said Dlodlo.

The commission awaited further engagement with its ministry on strategy development and continued to urge ministries to ensure that disciplinary matters are resolved in a timely manner in the interest of good labor relations and the service delivery, added the Minister.

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