Main­te­nance not paid be­cause of ‘sig­na­ture’

Sunday Observer - - NEWS - STO­RIES BY THEMBEKA DLAMINI

Since the year be­gan, civil ser­vants’s alar­ies have been paid on time. This can­not be said for women who gar­nished their for­mer part­ners for main­te­nance of their chil­dren.

Civil ser­vant’s salaries were paid with­out a hitch over the last two weeks but when it came to dis­sem­i­na­tion of cheques of moth­ers who went to court to chal­lenge the fail­ure by fathers to pay for main­te­nace.

Govern­ment pay­roll is done on the first two weeks of the month and there­after, salaries are dis­sem­i­nated ac­cord­ing to min­istry.

On the other hand, main­te­nance cheques are re­leased a week later and col­lected by ei­ther the mag­is­trate’s court or so­cial wel­fare of­fi­cials.

From Tues­day, when the cheques were ex­pected to be col­lected around the dif­fer­ent cen­tres in the coun­try, moth­ers were told to check the next day. On Wed­nes­day, there were still no cheques to be re­ceived by moth­ers.

When the min­istry of fi­nance Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary Bheki Bhembe was con­tacted on Thurs­day, his cel­lu­lar phone rang unan­swered.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to ju­nior staff at the Trea­sury De­part­ment, they had a meet­ing over a week

ago where they were alerted that a ‘ma­chine’ for spec­i­men sig­na­ture had mal­func­tioned and a new one was needed.

“We have been us­ing the faulty one for months on end whereas we thought the new one was on t he way,” an em­ployee said. Re­veal­ing their cur­rent op­er­a­tions in light of this, the em­ployee said those who were lucky were those who re­ceived cheques in small groups.

“If its five cheques, they get signed with­out any prob­lem,” he said.

Con­sid­er­ing that the moth­ers ex­pect­ing main­te­nance are in their thou­sands, this causes de­lays in dis­sem­i­nat­ing t hem. “The main­te­nance cheques are to­gether with those be­long­ing to com­mu­nity health mo­ti­va­tors. I things they have not been paid in the last two months,” the em­ployee said.

He ex­plained that the cheques are usu­ally re­leased on the same day and so they have to all be signed be­fore release.

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