Cape Times

Money down the toilet at department…

- Mayibongwe Maqhina

A total of 1 961 employees pocketed R30.4m in performanc­e bonuses

THE Water and Sanitation Department has paid out R30 million in bonuses to its officials in the 2016-17 financial year despite poorly managing its finances.

This came to light yesterday in a parliament­ary reply from minister Nomvula Mokonyane to a written question by the DA’s Anchen Dreyer who asked for the total amount paid out in bonuses to employees in her department and a detailed breakdown of the bonus paid out to each employee at each salary level.

Mokonyane said a total of 1 961 employees pocketed R30 496 693 in performanc­e bonuses.

Two officials in management service the senior (levels 13 and 14) pocketed R58 092.84 and R69 069.60 respective­ly in bonuses and the rest was shared among other employees.

However, Mokonyane defended the payment of the performanc­e bonuses, saying 1.5% of the total provision for salaries was allocated towards performanc­e reviews.

“This regulation is provided for by the Department of Public Service and Administra­tion. My department has complied with the regulation and a total of 1 961 employees qualified for performanc­e bonuses,” Mokonyane said.

Officials in the department seem destined for yet another windfall.

“Performanc­e rewards for the 2017-18 financial year have not been finalised, as the financial year ends in March 2018,” Mokonyane added.

She was responding to another written question regarding the total estimated amount to be paid out in bonuses to employees in her department in the 2017-18 financial year.

The payment of the bonuses takes place against the background of a department that overspent its budget by R110.8m in 2016-17.

“This is as a result of net loss of R89m, an overdraft of R191m, and unauthoris­ed expenditur­e of R406m by the department for the period under review,” the portfolio committee said.

In a budget review and recommenda­tions report tabled yesterday, the committee said the department’s liabilitie­s exceeded its assets by R454m.

Auditor-general Kimi Makwetu made damning findings in his report when he audited the department.

The department­al head, Dan Mashitisho, is still on suspension. It incurred R4.1 billion in irregular expenditur­e on implementi­ng agents that did not comply with tender procedures.

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