Act within the law, Scopa warns Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion of­fi­cials

Cape Times - - NATION - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA [email protected] Mu­seum Robben Is­land

Fix the organogram as the depart­ment is sad­dled with posts, in­clud­ing deputy di­rec­tors-gen­eral, that don’t ex­ist

PAR­LIA­MENT has in­structed the Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion Depart­ment to fix its organogram and that its of­fi­cials should act within the con­fines of the law re­gard­less of who the min­is­ter was.

The Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Pub­lic Ac­counts (Scopa) is­sued this warn­ing when the of­fi­cials ap­peared at its meet­ing to ac­count about the depart­ment’s fi­nances.

This as the depart­ment is sad­dled with posts, in­clud­ing deputy di­rec­tors-gen­eral, that don’t ex­ist in the organogram that was re­jected by the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Ser­vice and Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“(On) the is­sue of the organogram, we want to urge you to do what is within the law,” Scopa chair­per­son Themba Godi said.

Godi said the depart­ment should look at the num­ber of ap­proved deputy di­rec­tors-gen­eral and those em­ployed by the depart­ment.

“I see that you have about seven deputy di­rec­tors-gen­eral and I’m not sure if those are for act­ing di­rec­tor-gen­eral.

“We need to sort out this con­fu­sion about whether this is a new or ap­proved struc­ture,” he said.

The depart­ment has had act­ing di­rec­tors-gen­eral and chief fi­nance of­fi­cers over the years.

In his 2017/18 re­port, Au­di­tor-Gen­eral Kimi Mak­wetu blamed the sham­bles in its fi­nances on the depart­ment’s lead­er­ship, which was marred by act­ing di­rec­tor-gen­er­als and in­sta­bil­ity in the CFO po­si­tion.

The ANC’s Ezekiel Kekana noted that there was in­sta­bil­ity at the top man­age­ment.

“Al­most ev­ery­body is act­ing. We need con­fir­ma­tion when they ap­point per­ma­nent peo­ple,” Kekana said.

Godi said doc­u­ments sub­mit­ted by the depart­ment showed that there has been the same deputy di­rec­tors-gen­eral over six years.

“At that level, there has be con­sis­tency. Weak­ness is not as a re­sult of new peo­ple. All these peo­ple have been here for quite some time; they over­see spe­cific pro­jects and pro­grammes,” he said.

Deputy Min­is­ter Pam Tsh­wete said Min­is­ter Gugile Nk­winti had found the ma­jor­ity of of­fi­cials in act­ing po­si­tions when he was as­signed to the depart­ment in April.

Tsh­wete said it was dif­fi­cult for Nk­winti to state when the posts would be filled con­sid­er­ing the term was due to end, but he has re­ported the in­sta­bil­ity at man­age­ment level to Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa.

She ad­mit­ted that it was wor­ry­ing not to have full-time se­nior of­fi­cials, es­pe­cially the di­rec­tor-gen­eral.

“When we come back, we will come with a bet­ter so­lu­tion. The min­is­ter is work­ing on it,” she said.

Ear­lier, Scopa heard that the au­dit com­mit­tee had never met to brief former min­is­ter Nomvula Mokonyane on the au­dit when it was ap­pointed in April 2016.

A CAN­DLE light­ing cer­e­mony in re­mem­brance of late loved ones and Strug­gle he­roes was hosted in the Robben Is­land prison court­yard on Wed­nes­day, which marked five years since the death of Nel­son Man­dela. The Robben Is­land Mu­seum (RIM) hosted a 12-hour night vigil to mark the con­clu­sion of a year ded­i­cated to cel­e­brat­ing the 100th an­niver­sary of the birth of Man­dela and Al­bertina Sisulu. The evening on Robben Is­land was an op­por­tu­nity for re­flec­tion and con­tem­pla­tion for the sac­ri­fices of these two stal­warts and the many he­roes of the lib­er­a­tion of South Africa. The RIM wel­comed about 135 vis­i­tors, sev­eral of whom were former po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers, mem­bers of faith-based or­gan­i­sa­tions and mem­bers of the pub­lic. |

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