Act within the law, Scopa warns Water and Sanitation officials
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
Fix the organogram as the department is saddled with posts, including deputy directors-general, that don’t exist THEMBA GODI Scopa chairperson
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.