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Offline punisher

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2013, 10:07:38 pm »
some people are doing something , like alan B is , at least he is exposing it , others refuse to comply , even in the smallest way ............... others just capitulate , and go with the flow , even willingly feeding the beast that the locust swarm is
just wanna have fun , and ride ... and ....... ride
 

Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2013, 10:40:54 am »
Quote
Tshwane Metro metering contract branded "blatantly corrupt"

by Chris Yelland CEng, investigative editor, EE Publishers

On 5 December 2013, Afrikaans business rights watchdog organisation, AfriSake, initiated court proceedings to prevent a contract between the City of Tshwane (Pretoria) and private service provider PEU Capital Partners (Pty) Ltd (PEU) from proceeding.

The contract, with service fees to PEU estimated to be in excess of R27-billion over the contract period, was established in May 2013, when the City of Tshwane approved a 10-year arrangement to outsource its entire electricity metering and revenue collection activity to a private company, PEU.

AfriSake claims that "PEU has no experience in the installation or management of electricity infrastructure in towns or cities", and that the outsourcing contract "is probably an example of one of the most blatantly corrupt municipal transactions to date".

It further says that PEU was granted an unsolicited bid, and that the resulting transaction is illegal in that it violates the Municipal Finance Management Act, the Municipal Systems Act, the Consumer Protection Act, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, and the city's own supply chain management policy.

Tshwane and PEU officials deny AfriSake's allegations.

In terms of the outsourcing contract, for a service fee from Tshwane of between 19,5% and 25% of electricity sales revenue, PEU will be responsible for all metering and electricity revenue collection on behalf of Tshwane for a period of ten years, with the option to extend the arrangement for a further three years by mutual agreement.

To do this, PEU will roll out new prepayment metering infrastructure to all of Tshwane's domestic, commercial and industrial electricity customers, including those customers presently on prepaid and credit meters. This infrastructure would include: prepaid smart meters, meter boxes, consumer interface units and appliance control units; prepaid electricity vending infrastructure and points-of-sale; a meter data communication platform and back-end system; and a contact centre.

In addition to various other claimed benefits, the primary intention of the outsourcing contract is ostensibly to reduce debtor days, improve revenue collection and reduce non-technical losses (i.e. electricity theft and non-payment). However, the initial conditions of these performance metrics prior to commencement by PEU are undefined and unstated in the contract, and there is no direct linkage of PEU's service fee to any such performance improvements.

In fact, even if there are no benefits arising or improvements in electricity revenue collection and levels of theft and non-payment resulting from the new arrangement with PEU, and the current (undefined) situation simply continues unabated, some 19,5% to 25% of Tshwane's electricity sales revenue per year will be diverted away from municipal coffers to PEU.

In public statements to justify the outsourcing contract and PEU's high service fee of 19,5% to 25% of Tshwane's electricity sales revenue, the Tshwane city manager and mayor have stated that the cost of metering and revenue collection under the previous system was 27% to 35% of electricity sales revenue.

However, a report dated 11 October 2013 on the cost of metering and revenue collection for the past three years, prepared by Tshwane's group financial services department for presentation to the council's standing committee on public accounts, indicates the cost of metering and revenue collection is 12% of electricity sales revenue. (This report was subsequently withdrawn by the Tshwane chief financial officer when it became apparent that the cost figures therein contradicted those being given by the city manager and mayor to justify the PEU contract).

Furthermore, formal documents ("D-Forms") submitted to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) on 31 October 2013 by the city manager, chief financial officer and senior statistician for the 2012/13 financial year state that Tshwane electricity sales revenue was R8,57-billion, the cost of electricity purchased from Eskom was R5,55-billion (i.e. 65% of sales), and the total balance of costs of running Tshwane Electricity (including metering and revenue collection) was R1,53-billion (i.e. 18% of sales), giving a surplus (profit) on the sale of electricity of R1,48-billion (i.e. 17% of sales) for the year.

As just part of the total balance of costs of running Tshwane Electricity, the cost of metering and revenue collection must be fraction of 18% of sales revenue, and it is clearly impossible, indeed absurd, that the cost of revenue collection and metering could be 27% to 35% of sales revenue, or 1,5 x to 2x the total balance of costs of running Tshwane Electricity (excluding only the cost of electricity purchases from Eskom), as is claimed by the Tshwane city manager and mayor.

Thus if one accepts the formal figures prepared for the council's standing committee on public accounts and NERSA rather than the unsubstantiated claims by the Tshwane city manager and mayor in efforts to justify the outsourcing contract and PEU's high service fee, it is apparent that far from providing significant savings, the contract will incur massive costs, without any linkage to improvements in revenue collection metrics.

In fact, the PEU service fee of 19,6% to 25% of sales revenue has the potential to wipe out the current 18% surplus on electricity sales (i.e. R1,48-billion surplus in 2012/13) that Tshwane Electricity generates to cross-subsidise other municipal services. If this were the case, to compensate, there would undoubtedly have to be a corresponding upward movement in other municipal service rates to be borne by Tshwane ratepayers.

NERSA has indicated to EE Publishers that PEU will be selling electricity to Tshwane customers in 2013/14 at the electricity tariff rates approved by NERSA for Tshwane, and the contract between the municipality and PEU is governed by the MFMA and not within NERSA's jurisdiction. NERSA further indicated that it would be looking closely at Tshwane's 2013/14 declared costs and 2014/15 tariff application to ensure that only efficiently incurred costs are passed through to the customer in the approved tariff rates for 2014/15.

The Tshwane Electricity figures prepared for NERSA and the council's standing committee on public accounts, and the figures put out by the city manager and mayor to justify the outsourcing contract and the PEU service fee, appear to be in stark contradiction, and the comments by Tshwane and PUE to this article raise more questions than answers.

However, Tshwane's executive director: strategic communication, Selby Bokaba, has since indicated: "We will not entertain further questions on this matter as AfriSake has taken us to court with the intention to interdict the implementation of the contract. Thus, the matter is sub judice".

 
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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2013, 06:23:54 pm »
Quote
Official arrested for R2m kickbacks

December 12 2013 at 05:36pm
By LEE RONDGANGER

Durban - A senior government official has been arrested for allegedly receiving more than R2 million in kickbacks from a Durban plant hire company that was awarded more than R300m in contracts to help repair KwaZulu-Natal’s ailing road infrastructure.

The arrests are the result of an 18-month investigation by the KwaZulu-Natal police anti-corruption task team, comprising the Hawks, Special Investigations Unit and Assets Forfeiture Unit.

Simphiwe Majola, 56, a regional manager in the KZN Department of Transport, appeared in the Durban Commercial Crime Court on Wednesday.

He has indicated to the court that he intends pleading not guilty to multiple counts of corruption, fraud and money laundering.

A second government employee, Sukla Pooran Maharaj, based at the provincial transport department’s offices in KwaDukuza (Stanger), is also alleged to be part of the racket.

He was arrested on Wednesday while holidaying in the Wild Coast and has appeared in the Stanger Magistrate’s Court, which granted him bail of R10 000 before adjourning the matter to December 19.

Maharaj is alleged to have received more than R300 000 in bribes from the company owners - a Durban couple - for ensuring they received the bulk of the contracts.

The two cases - and those of others that will be opened when “many more” arrests follow - are expected to be joined for trial next year.

Majola, who was in charge of awarding short-term road repair and maintenance contracts to various companies on the provincial database, is alleged to have bypassed internal procurement procedure controls that are meant to spread the contracts to various small contractors, and awarded the bulk of the work to the company owned by the Durban couple.

The couple, who are believed to be in Johannesburg, have apparently arranged to hand themselves to police tomorrow.

Their names are known to the Daily News and will be revealed when they appear in court.

The contracts awarded were for the hire of plant equipment used in the repair of roads.

They were also part of the provincial government’s plan to empower emerging civil contractors.

Police are also probing R200m worth of contracts for the department awarded to two other companies linked to the businessman.

The investigation, led by Captain Fana Khawula, uncovered that between 2007 and last year the businessman allegedly:

* Bought Majola a top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz C280 worth more than R430 000.

* Installed a pool at his Ashburton home in Pietermaritzburg for R83 072.

* Paid a R1.5m deposit for Majola to buy a dairy farm in Port Shepstone, and

* Paid R146 308 in architect’s fees for renovations to his home.

The renovations to the home did not go ahead because Majola’s neighbours objected.

During his bail application on Wednesday, Majola said he had been employed by the Department of Transport since 1994 and earned a salary of R47 000 a month.

He said he was not a flight risk and intended to plead not guilty to the charges.

He said he had been aware of the investigation since last year.

The court accepted Majola’s petition and granted him bail of R50 000. The case was adjourned to March 18.

According to sources with intimate knowledge of the probe, the investigation into Majola began after a department employee grew suspicious of how he could afford such an expensive car.

The employee did further checks on the vehicle and discovered it was registered in the name of a Durban businessman who provided services to the department.

According to a forensic report commissioned by the Department of Treasury, the employee reported the matter to the Special Investigations Unit.

The Daily News is in possession of the forensic report.

Police allege that in 2007 a company owned by the couple had purchased the Mercedes-Benz from a dealership in uMhlanga and had given it to Majola in 2008.

The vehicle was paid off in three instalments - R5 000, R300 000 and R125 650 - between August and December 2007.

According to the State’s charge sheet handed to the court on Wednesday, Majola and the businessman went to great lengths to conceal how the vehicle was purchased, but not before the colleague had investigated.

The vehicle, which was originally registered in the businessman’s name, was transferred into the name of a Gauteng car dealership owned by a Mr Padaychee who is an alleged associate of the businessman, in July 2008.

The following month the vehicle was transferred from the Gauteng dealership to Majola.

The forensic report alleges that Majola went against department protocol by approving the hire of the plant equipment for the businessman beyond the minimum 60 days.

In several incidents, a highly placed source said, the businessman charged the department for use of an earth-moving machine in Port Shepstone and Stanger for the same day, which resulted in payments exceeding R1.7m.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” a police source said on Wednesday.

“We plan to arrest many more people for this. We expect at least 20 arrests.”

Daily News
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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2013, 06:56:43 am »
Quote
State bungles R52m confiscation case

December 17 2013 at 02:42pm
By NOELENE BARBEAU

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INLSA

Ishwar Ramlutchman appears at the Commercial Crimes Court. Picture: Zanele Zulu

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Durban - The State should have conducted an investigation to determine the profit made by a convicted Richards Bay businessman from the R52 million government contract he was awarded with fraudulent documents.

Durban Commercial Crime Court acting magistrate, Nalini Govender, dismissed the State’s application for a confiscation order against Ishwarlall Ramlutchman.

Ramlutchman had pleaded guilty, in September, to defrauding the Department of Public Works by tendering for contracts using false documents.

Soon afterwards, the Assets Forfeiture Unit had restrained his assets. The State had also applied for a confiscation order, seeking a return of the R52m, when he was sentenced.

Last week, the acting magistrate dismissed the State’s application to obtain a confiscation order, saying the hurdle in the State’s case was proving the value of Ramlutchman’s profit from these tenders, which was not determined.

The State was requesting the return of the contract value. However, Govender said there was no case law to refer to on the return of a contract value, but instead on the return of profit.

Last month, Ramlutchman was fined R500 000 or 10 years’ imprisonment and received two five-year suspended sentences on 21 fraud charges and one of corruption. He had pleaded guilty to, through his company AC Industrial, submitting false documents to the Construction Industry Development Board to improve the firm’s grading to bid for government tenders.

In court papers for the confiscation proceedings, the Asset Forfeiture Unit’s forensic investigator, Akbar Ally, said Ramlutchman’s assets did not satisfy the confiscation amount of R52m as they were valued at about R10m.

 

Ramlutchman’s defence had argued that the businessman’s assets had dropped. According to court papers, Ramlutchman said the provincial Department of Public Works received full value for the R52m paid to him.

He argued for the confiscation to be dismissed, saying in 2009 it had been discovered his registration and grading with the construction board was irregular and it had not properly qualified him for the Public Works contracts.

He said he was internally prosecuted by the construction board and received a sanction, which included a condition allowing him to continue with the projects.

noelene.barbeau@inl.co.za

Daily News
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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2013, 06:57:42 am »
Quote
Tshwane metro duo charged with corruption

December 18 2013 at 11:44am
By LALI VAN ZUYDAM

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IOL pic dec2 somalia pirates gavel

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Pretoria - In a case of alleged corruption in the City of Tshwane, two men - a municipal official and an employee of a metro contractor - have been accused of attempting to solicit a bribe from a businessman.

Mongamola Ramaphakela, 24, and Matsobane Masekela, 34, appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday on charges of corruption after allegedly offering to make the businessman’s electricity bill of more than R1.3 million “go away” if he paid them R400 000.

The city official is an administrative officer and the other man, who is from Thembisa, works for a contractor to the metro, cutting off the electricity supply to residents and business people who fail to pay their accounts.

The men allegedly approached the businessman, whose identity is known to the Pretoria News, and offered their “assistance” with his arrears. He alleges they asked him to pay them to make his account “disappear” from the system.

The businessman agreed to meet the accused with R120 000 of the total amount they had agreed on and called the Hawks to set a trap.

When the businessman handed over the money, the Hawks arrested the two men on Friday.

Metro spokesman Selby Bokaba said it was too soon to say whether Masekela would be suspended as he had been arrested at the weekend.

However, the metro could serve Masekela with an intention to suspend letter, to which he would have to respond giving reasons why he believed he should not be suspended.

In the case of Ramaphakela, the city would consider its options in relation to the contractor, Bokaba said.

“Anything that directly or indirectly impacts on the good image of the city is something that we are worried about. We will look into the matter within the confines of the law,” Bokaba said.

The matter was postponed to February for further investigation after the accused were granted bail of R3 000 each.

Both men said they would plead not guilty to the charges and that they would stand trial.

They said they were the sole breadwinners in their families and had children to support.

The accused may not contact the City of Tshwane’s witnesses in the case, they must report to their local police station three times a week and they may not apply for travel documents while their trial is under way.

Also, they are not allowed to move without permission from the residential addresses they have given.

It has not yet been determined whether the men were working as part of a syndicate.

In October, the metro showed its determination to clamp down on corruption when 12 employees in the horticulture department were fired for fuel theft over three months. The fuel was valued at more than R800 000.

An additional 16 employees were found guilty of similar offences. A number of officials resigned after being caught out.

“City management has vowed to intensify its clampdown on corrupt employees in a quest to weed out criminality in its midst,” Bokaba said.

The corruption case is one of many involving municipal employees this year. Last month, two municipal workers were arrested while selling refuse bags to a Sunnyside businessman for R200

.

lali.vanzuydam@inl.co.za

Pretoria News
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Offline Bundu

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #45 on: December 19, 2013, 01:24:06 pm »
gotta hate the incompetent thieving bastards  :xxbah:
 

Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #46 on: December 19, 2013, 05:04:57 pm »
Quote
‘Zuma’s neighbours a security threat’

December 19 2013 at 12:57pm
By Sapa

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nkandla apr 29

Independent Newspapers

President Jacob Zuma's home in Nkandla File photo: Doctor Ngcobo

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Pretoria - Families neighbouring President Jacob Zuma's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal were moved because they posed a security threat, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said on Thursday.

It was up to his department to implement the security recommendations of the security cluster of ministers, he told journalists in Pretoria.

“The neighbouring families had to be relocated as they were identified as a security risk to have them within the high-security zone,” he said at the release of a task team report into the over R206 million upgrade to Zuma's home.

“A feature known as the chicken run was constructed within the cattle kraal. It was created as a replacement to a number of building block structures that were scattered around some of the main dwellings which were obstructions and potential hiding areas for intruders.”

Nxesi said allegations that Zuma used state resources to build and upgrade the homestead were unfounded.

“As it will be shown in the findings of the task team report, no state funds were used to build the president's private residence,” he said.

“The requirement to provide security for presidents, both sitting and retired, remains the responsibility of government. The Ministerial Handbook did not adequately address security around the head of state, deputy president and their families.”

Regarding the controversial tuck shop, among other things, Nxesi said the state was duty-bound to construct it, after relocating it.

“The tuck shop existed long before the president was inaugurated and was relocated within the three hectare land of the president.

“Due to the security risk posed by the movement of people [customers], the tuck shop had to be relocated from within the premises and erected at the perimeter of the premises,” said Nxesi. - Sapa
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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #47 on: December 23, 2013, 08:08:17 am »
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‘Poisoned’ tenders cancelled

December 22 2013 at 07:38am
By Wiseman Khuzwayo

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The troubled Pilgrims Rest community, including residents and business owners are determined to stop the provincial government from taking over their businesses. Photo: Tiro Ramatlhatse

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Johannesburg - The Mpumalanga department of public works acted unlawfully and improperly in the awarding of tenders for shop leases in Pilgrims Rest, and the process was characterised by gross irregularities and maladministration, Thuli Madonsela, the Public Protector, has found.

The report, entitled “Poisoned Processes”, was released on Thursday night after an investigation lasting more than a year. It was due to be released two weeks ago but was delayed due to “quality assurance processes”.

It says the head of department must cancel the awarding of the contracts for the new shop leases and embark on a new procurement process.

Pilgrims Rest, a national heritage and a tourist attraction, is peculiarly owned by the department. On June 30, 2012, it issued eviction notices to 17 out of 22 business tenants, who had to vacate their premises by the end of July 2012.

The history of the department owning this tiny village with only one main road is very odd. The history of Pilgrims Rest dates back to the 1800s, when it was a gold mining town. At some stage when the mining activity stopped, the Transvaal Provincial Administration (TPA) took over from the mining company Barlow Rand.

When the TPA was dissolved in 1994, the town was handed over to the department. It has a mandate to provide, manage and maintain Pilgrims Rest, which was declared a heritage site and a national monument in 1986.

It is responsible for the management of the town, as well as the billing on water, electricity, refuse removal, management of businesses and lease agreements.

The eviction orders followed a tender process conducted by the department for the renewal of tenders, which it said was based on the need for transformation.

Susan Patricia Khoza’s Matletle Construction and Projects company was awarded a tender to rent five business premises, while Rachel Tsakane Khoza’s Timbhulu Construction and Projects was awarded a tender to rent three business premises.

The losing bidders obtained an interdict at the North Gauteng High Court against the Mpumalanga government, which was given two months to produce the documents upon which basis the tenders were awarded for a judicial review by the court.

During the hearing, Judge Stanley Makgoba asked the advocate for the evictees: “This is strange to me. How can a provincial department own a town?”

The government did not comply with the court order. Afrikaans pressure group Afrisake is now funding an application by the evictees to have the interdict extended. The public protector’s report found that the bid specification committee was without the requisite 60 percent quorum.

The report says this committee gave a high score for price to a bidder whose bid price was one of the lowest. “The bid was adjudicated and scored on the understanding of its rent offer being R19 000, when in fact it was R10 416,” it says. Therefore, fraud is suspected.

It says:

* No due diligence exercise was carried out to assess the functionality and sustainability of businesses considered for leases;

* Evaluation criteria changed from 90:10 to 80:20 for some of the tenders, with dubious reasons given for such a change and how the change was processed; and

* No proper records were kept, resulting in a changing narrative given during the investigation on issues such as why the evaluation criteria changed for some of the tenders.

Madonsela says the department must ensure that owners of current businesses that are not successful in the new bidding process are given adequate vacation notices, which should not be less than three months.

The MEC must within 30 days from the date of the report submit an implementation plan of the remedial action to Madonsela and 21 days thereafter submit a progress report.

Sharon Paterson, who owns two businesses in Pilgrims Rest – the Pantry Shop, which sells pastries and doubles up as a licensed restaurant, and Ponieskrantz Arts and Crafts, said six businesses had already closed because of the uncertainty over the leases.

“Opening up a new procurement process could take years, and at the end of the day you do not get your lease renewed. They should just renew the leases and open up the bidding process on the empty buildings,” she added.

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Offline knightrat

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #48 on: December 23, 2013, 08:50:37 am »
Lost the article now  :xxbah: saw it on news 24 but I see government has reversed its ruling about buying alcohol and revoking government credit cards! Just in time for Christmas... lol
 

Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #49 on: December 24, 2013, 09:17:07 am »
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Taxpayers pay as officials fight over contract

December 23 2013 at 10:50am
By MOLOKO MOLOTO

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Tlhalefi Mashamaite dec 23

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Mogalakwena Municipality Mayor Tlhalefi Mashamaite

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Johannesburg - A rowdy clash involving the mayor and municipal manager of Limpopo’s Mogalakwena municipality continues - at the public’s expense.

Mayor Tlhalefi Mashamaite and manager William Kekana recently appointed bodyguards to protect themselves against one another.

Claiming their lives were in danger, the two officials of the ANC-controlled municipality in Mokopane want the council to pay for services provided by their personal protectors.

This is in addition to 24-hour security provided by the municipality at their homes.

Last week, Kekana was prevented from entering the council premises by the mayor’s bodyguards.

A clash ensued, with Kekana’s protectors and a group of community members sympathetic to him wrestling with Mashamaite’s “private army” so that Kekana could enter the premises.

At the centre of the conflict is the municipal manager’s disputed employment contract.

Kekana’s contract was controversially renewed for five years by the previous council whose term ended in 2011.

 

The contractual dispute saw Kekana being suspended in July pending the resolution of the matter, but a group of 24 ANC councillors voted with opposition members to reinstate him.

That resolution was made an order of court in October, and Kekana returned to office. But the mayor, chief whip David Langa and a faction of ANC councillors disputing Kekana’s contract had boycotted October’s council sitting that reinstated Kekana.

 

This led to legal action challenging the ruling.

On December 13, High Court Judge Jody Kollapen declared Kekana’s contract invalid and said the council’s October resolution to reinstate him was unlawful.

The council is now to appeal the judge’s ruling.

moloko.moloto@inl.co.za

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #50 on: January 08, 2014, 12:17:59 pm »
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Waste of public funds disturbing - Apac

January 8 2014 at 05:59am
By SAPA

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ohannesburg - The disregard shown for the public sector austerity measures announced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was disturbing, the Association of Public Accounts Committees (Apac) said on Tuesday.

It was reported on Sunday that North West premier Thandi Modise acquired a new BMW 750i at a cost of R1.3 million, despite a ban on extravagant spending on luxury vehicles.

"Minister Gordhan was very clear in urging the public sector to exercise prudence in dealing with public funds," Apac secretary Hlomane Chauke said in a statement.

"We call upon law enforcement agencies in provinces to exercise effective oversight and investigate recent media allegations of political leaders buying lavish cars with state funds," he said.

According to the Sunday Times, Modise's spokesman Lesiba Kgwele said the vehicle was not acquired in defiance of a Cabinet directive.

He reportedly told the newspaper that suggestions that the purchase was a snub of Gordhan's call for cost-cutting were disingenuous.

Kgwele said the official vehicle used by Modise's predecessor had travelled more than the suggested maximum of 120 000km, and was constantly breaking down and compromising Modise's security.

Chauke said all ministers, premiers, MECs, mayors and government departments should heed Gordhan's call to exercise prudence when spending public funds.

"Apac further calls upon on public accounts committees and municipal public accounts committees to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to ensure that public entities comply with minister Gordhan's prescripts," he said. - Sapa
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #51 on: January 08, 2014, 12:25:05 pm »
Quote
Taxpayers foot bill for Nkandla power

January 8 2014 at 08:10am
By Mpume Madlala



Independent Newspapers


Durban - Taxpayers were footing President Jacob Zuma’s electricity bill at his private home in Nkandla, it emerged on Tuesday in response to a parliamentary question posed by the DA.

While the Department of Public Works confirmed in a written reply that it was carrying the bill in order to “pay for aspects related to security”, the DA said the department failed to provide details on exactly how much the bills added up to.

Public Works spokesman Thami Mchunu also confirmed on Tuesday night that the department was paying the president’s bill. “The department is paying for the electricity to provide for aspects relating to security,” he said, without elaborating further.

DA Public Works spokeswoman Anchen Dreyer voiced disappointment over the reply to her parliamentary question.

“The details of how much has been spent thus far were not provided in the reply, despite it being clearly asked for.

“I will resubmit the question in the National Assembly requesting the full details,” she said.

If she still did not get the information within 10 parliamentary working days, as the rules of Parliament required, Dreyer said she would submit an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act for all the electricity costs and related documents.

“Already South Africans have had to fork out an exorbitant R200 million to upgrade President Zuma’s private residence in Nkandla. We have been told, time and time again, that this is for his ‘security’. Yet, from cattle kraals to ‘fire pools’, we continue to learn of line items which have absolutely nothing to do with protecting the president,” she said.

Dreyer said the latest revelation was a slap in the face for so many South Africans who had yet to receive access to electricity, or who battled each month to pay their bills.

She also questioned why Zuma deserved “special treatment” at his private residence – when he already had four state-provided residences across the country.

The IFP’s national spokesman, Blessed Gwala, said: “The ANC will die a natural death without corruption. The fraud of the ANC disgusts me, more so because it is happening right under the nose of the provincial premier and the president himself. I am really not surprised and I know more is still going to come out.”

National ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu referred queries to the Department of Public Works.

“We don’t know anything about it. The right people who will respond intelligently on the matter will be the department,” he said.

The Mercury
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2014, 01:09:17 pm »
Quote
National ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu referred queries to the Department of Public Works.

“We don’t know anything about it. The right people who will respond intelligently on the matter will be the department,” he said.
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #53 on: January 15, 2014, 08:08:32 am »
Quote
R10m car rental scandal

January 14 2014 at 07:49am
By BABALO NDENZE AND STAFF REPORTERS



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Johannesburg - In the Department of Social Development, economising means spending an amount of R15 143.82 on a single day’s hire of an Audi Q3 for the minister.

Or R43 203 on three days’ travel in an Audi Q7.

Or R22 575 on three days in a Mercedes S-Class.

Or about R30 000 on two Audi Q7s hired for the same four days travel for the same minister.

Or nearly R46 000 for two days in a BMW X5 for a deputy minister.

This is how the Social Development Department “reduced” spending on travel after promising to do following the urging of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The figures emerged among parliamentary replies to questions by the DA to various ministries on car hire spending.

DA transport spokesman Ian Ollis said R1.3 million was spent by the ministries of Social Development, Public Enterprises and Correctional Services between January 2012 and March last year.

This brings the total spent on vehicle rentals by President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet and deputy ministers to R10.8 million in just over a year.

Some of the replies give slightly different periods for the spending.

The Social Development Ministry was the biggest spender of the three to most recently reply, spending R785 728 between the minister and deputy minister. These figures were from January 2012 to April 2013 for the minister, and to June 2013 for the deputy.

That ministry’s car hire could have paid for a year’s worth of monthly pensions for 51 war veterans. The department budgeted to pay 477 veterans last year.

In February last year, in the 2013/14 Budget, the ministry promised to review its policies on travel, accommodation, venues and communication “to ensure that spending on these non-core service delivery items is reduced” after cutting R62m from spending on goods and services.

Much of the spending is before then; however, the ministry’s car hire since February last year listed six trips for a total of 16 days and a total cost of R120 510, or nearly R32 per kilometre.

Before that promised review, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini hired an Audi Q7 for two weeks at R100 504 and also for 21 days at a cost of R80 419.

Dlamini’s spokeswoman, Lumka Oliphant, said there were a number of reasons why the minister had the biggest bill out of all ministers in the cabinet.

“Firstly, we say as our pay-off line, siyaya emphakathini njalo (we go to communities regularly). Secondly, it’s batho pele, or people first. The nature of the work in Social Development is working for the poor. The minister only has cars in Cape Town and Gauteng and has no cars in other provinces. She has gone to far-flung areas in all corners of the country,” said Oliphant.

She said an advertisement in a newspaper could cost as much as R500 000 – far more expensive than community outreach.

“And you’ll find that there are far fewer readers (of newspapers). The minister is talking to people, that’s why,” said Oliphant.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba spent R283 166 on hired vehicles.

Minister of Correctional Services S’bu Ndebele and his deputy Ngoako Ramatlhodi spent a total of R126 702.

Gigaba noted in his response that the general picture about car rentals is that rates vary from one car rental company to the other, “and huge delivery and collecting fees are also charged”.

“These fees are charged if, for example, a car had to be taken to a far-off small town airport and be collected thereafter due to unavailability of such cars in those areas.

“Kilometres travelled also plays a major factor in the amount charged, and can be charged from R8 per km to R15 or more per km,” said Gigaba.

Ollis said that in one instance, Gigaba rented a vehicle for just one kilometre and paid R2 381.79 for the trip.

“Although the minister argues that the rental was later cancelled, it remains unacceptable that R2 381.79 was paid for a car that was not used,” said Ollis.

 

“When he came into office in 2009, President Zuma waxed lyrical about ensuring a reduction of wasteful expenditure,” he added.

But the continued splurging by members of Zuma’s cabinet “is indicative of a government that is not committed to cutting unnecessary costs”.

Politcal Bureau
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #54 on: January 15, 2014, 08:32:29 am »
Quote
Zuma and his clan need to be told: NO

January 14 2014 at 07:37pm

Comment on this story
IOL PN zuma1

Reuters



The electorate should give the ANC a stern message at the polls this year – that corruption and enrichment of hangers-on cannot be tolerated, says Max du Preez.

Guess which exemplary ANC leader uttered these words at the ANC rally at Mbombela on Saturday? “The ANC is very clear that actions that bring our organisation into disrepute will not be tolerated and every ANC member should conduct himself or herself in a manner that is consistent with the core values and traditions of our movement.”

Let me give you some clues.

The speaker is the same man who has, according to court evidence, received vast amounts of money from a shady businessman in exchange for political favours. The businessman went to jail, but the politician, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, didn’t because the caretaker head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Mkotedi Mpshe, dropped the more than 700 charges of corruption, racketeering and fraud against him.

This decision was against the advice of the senior staff and legal advisers of the NPA, who described it as a purely political rather than legal decision. Mpshe said he had listened to secret tapes of phone conversations indicating possible political interference with the prosecution.

Zuma has used vast amounts of state funds to stop those tape recordings being made public. Mpshe was promoted to judge soon after he dropped the charges.

Zuma wasn’t a wealthy man when he accepted the dirty money from the jailed business associate. But his fortunes and that of his family and clan improved spectacularly after he became leader of the ANC at the Polokwane congress. A mere six years after this event there were more Zuma millionaires than any others in the country sharing a surname. A Young Communist Party leader called it Zuma Economic Empowerment.

Fifteen of Zuma’s close family members, including some of his children, are wealthy business people and have some 140 directorships or memberships of close corporations between them.

Zuma Incorporated’s fortunes soared further when three shrewd brothers from India, Atul, Rajesh and Ajay Gupta, realised that the new South African president would be amenable to a mutually beneficial relationship. His children Duduzile and Duduzane are top executives in the Gupta empire.

No wonder then that the Guptas were allowed to use Waterkloof Air Base as a private playground to fly in their guests for a family wedding last year. Officials who were told this was the wish of “Number One” were afterwards the only ones held accountable.

We have strong reasons to believe that Zuma actually knew what the Public Works Department was building for him at his private villa (called the Corruption Palace by Julius Malema) at Nkandla and that it was going to cost more than R200 million of taxpayers’ money.

Now let’s throw in Zuma’s much-publicised sexual adventures with the young daughters of two of his friends. One was HIV positive and accused Zuma of raping her, the other fell pregnant.

Consider all the above and then ask the question: was this conduct “consistent with the core values and traditions of our movement”? Has Zuma not, more than anyone else in the senior echelons of the ANC, brought “the organisation into disrepute”?

How does the ANC expect the people of South Africa to believe them that it is tough on corruption and will instill discipline in its members with that kind of leader – a leader shielded and defended tirelessly by the senior leadership?

When I saw the headline in The Sunday Independent, “Zuma Warns Rotten Cadres”, I simply chuckled.

Because I remembered that the leader of the ANC in the Northern Cape, John Block, has been on trial for a long time on charges of corruption, money-laundering and racketeering and had assets worth more than R20 million frozen by the Asset Forfeiture Unit. This did not affect his standing in the ANC or the provincial government.

I also remembered how the former ANC chief whip, Tony Yengeni, was accompanied to prison by a cheering commando of ANC luminaries after he had lied to Parliament about a transaction related to the arms deal and was sentenced to four years in jail. He was involved in several more scandals after he came out of jail, yet he is still a member of the national executive of the party and was at one stage head of the ANC’s political school.

I also remembered how the former communications minister, Dina Pule, was found guilty of lying to Parliament about her boyfriend’s suspect financial dealings with her department, but she wasn’t kicked out of Parliament or disciplined by the party.

So Jacob Zuma was actually telling the party faithful at the Mbombela Stadium on the weekend: “If you’re not me or in my inner circle, then don’t be corrupt or bring the ANC into disrepute. Do as we say, not as we do.”

The ANC leadership deserves to be given a stern message by the electorate.

* Max du Preez is an author and columnist.

** The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Indepent Newspapers.

Pretoria News
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #55 on: January 15, 2014, 08:35:07 am »
Quote
Two in dock for R40m public works lease scam

January 15 2014 at 06:32am
By SAPA

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Johannesburg - A businessman and a former public works department senior official accused of money laundering and corruption are expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Businessman Sayed Hoosen Mia and former senior administrator Desmond Simamane would appear for a trial date to be set.

The two were allegedly involved in a lease scam involving R40 million.

The scam led to the department paying R40 million for the lease of six Johannesburg buildings from Mia. Despite the money being paid, the buildings were never used.

Simamane allegedly accepted bribes from Mia in exchange for recommending his companies for lease contracts for office space for other national government departments.

He allegedly accepted a Nissan Hardbody bakkie, worth R156 400, and use of a BMW 525, worth R566 250, from Mia. He also allegedly received payments of R640 500 via his football club's bank account.

Simamane was granted R5 000 bail and Mia R10 000 bail. - Sapa
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #56 on: February 06, 2014, 03:19:46 pm »
Quote
Civil servants’ pay rises, regardless

February 6 2014 at 11:44am


INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS



In raising pay already excessive against independent counsel, Zuma undermines our constitution, writes Helen Zille.

Within a context of rampant corruption, the recent round of salary increases for senior public servants – which was against the recommendation of the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers – hardly warranted a mention in the media. Yet there are crucial issues of principle at play.

The commission exists for an important reason: to avoid the conflict of interest that would arise should politicians determine their own salaries. Even though President Jacob Zuma makes the final legal determination, we believe it undermines the spirit of the constitution to ignore the commission’s recommendations.

Late last year, December 19, the commission recommended the total remuneration of people earning below R500 000 per year be increased by 7 percent, while those earning between R500 000 and R800 000 get 5 percent increases. Those earning between R800 000 and R1 million per annum should get an increase of 4 percent. Those earning above R1m should not get an increase.

This sliding scale seemed perfectly logical and appropriate in a context where we are trying to tackle extreme inequality. But whatever one may think of the proposal, I believe it is incumbent on Zuma to accept it, in order to avoid the “conflict of interest” trap.

He rejected it, opting instead for a 5 percent “across-the-board” increase. This equates to an estimated additional cost to the taxpayer of R45m for top politicians. He, however, announced he would forego the increase. This gesture does not enable him to escape his conflict of interest problem, because he has, against the commission’s advice, remunerated the insider network that keeps him in power. The unspoken deal is: they look after him and he looks after them.

Fortunately, the constitution requires premiers to consider the commission’s recommendations and make a determination for provinces.

The DA believes that independent commissions have a mandate to fulfil. The Western Cape cabinet, therefore, at its January 23 meeting, accepted the commission’s recommendation that office bearings earning over R1m a year should get no increase. This unanimous decision took a minute to make. A simple matter. But as usual, in government, complications followed.

Legally, the process should work like this: the national government must give provincial premiers 30 days after the president’s proclamation to make a determination for office bearers in their provinces. That period ends on February 7. But long before this period had lapsed, and without consultation, the national government implemented Zuma’s proclaimed salary increases across all provinces. Our view was not taken into account or even sought as required by law. We now have to reverse the payments, a complex, difficult and expensive process.

Zuma simply refuses to allow our constitutional checks and balances to operate. He believes that powerful politicians should dictate to them, not the other way around. The essence of democracy is not the concentration of power in political leadership.

The essence of democracy lies in independent and strong institutions that prevent power abuse. The Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers should be such an institution. By rejecting its recommendations, Zuma is continuing his well-established habit of gutting independent institutions, from the National Prosecuting Authority to the Judicial Service Commission, so that he can wield unfettered power.

That is the point that advocate Glynnis Breytenbach is making by joining the DA. She is entering politics to fight for the independence of these institutions, not to control them.

Another thing: why does Zuma presume that every senior politician will simply take any increase they can get?

Public service salaries in South Africa today are on par with rich countries rather than with comparable emerging markets. With South Africa’s thin tax crust, burgeoning public debt and widespread poverty, this is to defy our economic reality.

At the apex of a weak and corrupt state, Zuma earns more in real terms than his British and French counterparts – two of the wealthiest countries in the world.

Studies show that many public servants salaries across the board are outpacing their counterparts in the private sector. Others indicate that the cost of the public service as a percentage of gross domestic product is higher than Germany and Scandinavia. The salaries of South Africa’s nine premiers are within the US dollar-for-dollar range of the five top paid governors of the US, the world’s biggest economy.

Politicians’ sense of entitlement has stirred a generalised anger, crystallised in the public fury with Nkandla.

And there is another point of which we dare not lose sight. As the famous jurist, Louis Brandeis said: “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of the few. But we cannot have both.”

We need a president and a government that makes us feel that we are all in this battle together.

* Helen Zille is the leader of the DA and Western Cape premier.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #57 on: March 28, 2014, 12:42:39 pm »
Quote
R3.2m for bodyguards in one month

March 26 2014 at 08:12pm
By Mpume Madlala

Durban - Durban’s metro police should have trained VIP police to serve as bodyguards for councillors who need protection.

This was the call from opposition parties on Tuesday after it emerged that the municipality had spent R3.2 million in January on bodyguards for 22 councillors whose lives were considered to be at risk.

DA caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango believed that the amount was too much for this service, saying that it was theft of ratepayers’ money.

“These are shockingly inflated rates for these services,” he said.

The bodyguards are for 19 ANC councillors and three from the NFP.

“Each councillor has a bodyguard at R71 000 a month, a rented car at R22 000 a month and a driver at R35 000 a month. Some of the bodyguards cost R106 000 a month,” he said.

He wanted to know why the municipality was spending millions for bodyguards when it had a metro police department. “If such security is warranted, the DA calls on the city to incorporate these VIP protection staffers into its metro police station as a cost-saving measure,” he said.

IFP caucus leader Mdu Nkosi said that having bodyguards for councillors who were at risk was necessary, but there were cheaper options.

“We have a metro police department, so why can’t we train a number of our policemen to work as bodyguards when needed?” he asked.

The problem with contracts was that the prices were always inflated, he said.

“I find it hard to believe that so much money has been spent on just 22 bodyguards. It also needs to be investigated why these councillors need them because it appears that some just want them for show,” he said.

MF councillor Patrick Pillay agreed that an in-house VIP unit within the metro police would work best.

The Speaker for eThekwini, Logie Naidoo, said that the safety of municipal councillors was a sensitive matter and should not be politicised.

“The decision to provide councillors with security is not taken lightly, but is based on threat analysis reports from the SAPS crime intelligence unit and in some cases the national intelligence unit,” he said.

He denied that costs for guards were inflated, saying they were inclusive of vehicle costs.

“In some instances, the council provides static guards either at a councillor’s home or office. The level of security provided is based on the threat analysis. This is the reason for variance in costs,” he said.

Naidoo said the security needs analysis applied to all political parties and was reviewed when necessary.

The Mercury
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #58 on: July 25, 2014, 12:18:21 pm »
Quote
Official probed for R1.6bn graft

July 25 2014 at 11:31am
By Sapa


Johannesburg - The Hawks on Friday confirmed they are investigating a government official for corruption involving R1.6 billion.

“There is no formal charge at the moment, but we can confirm that a preservation order was applied for in the high court,” Captain Paul Ramaloko said. “Most of this matter is before court.”

The corruption was allegedly committed during the official's term of office. Ramaloko declined to provide details, including the official's name.

Special Investigating Unit (SIU) spokesman Boy Ndala declined to comment, saying the matter was sub judice.

The Mail&Guardian reported on Friday that, according to court papers, former Gauteng health MEC Brian Hlongwa had been implicated in corruption dating back to 2006.

It reported that the African National Congress was a beneficiary of his actions and that Hlongwa, who is the ANC's chief whip in Gauteng, allegedly acted as a conduit for bribes.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had lodged a series of applications in the High Court in Johannesburg asking for orders to freeze the assets of certain companies, and a house.

The NPA reportedly told the court these assets were the proceeds of a crime. In support of the applications, the Hawks and SIU submitted thousands of pages of evidence relating to the alleged corruption.

Among the allegations was that R300 000 was diverted from the Gauteng health department to the ANC's 2009 election campaign in the province. Money was allegedly siphoned off to fund the political ambitions of certain ANC figures. - Sapa
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #59 on: July 28, 2014, 08:50:25 am »
Quote
State’s wage bill growing ‘too fast’

July 27 2014 at 03:09pm
By LOYISO SIDIMBA

Comment on this story
IOL pic july9 new rand money
Reuters
.
Johannesburg - The head of a constitutional advisory body has warned that the government’s multibillion-rand wage bill is growing too fast compared to the value it is generating.

Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) acting chairman and chief executive Bongani Khumalo told The Sunday Independent that the FFC and the Public Service Commission (PSC) were conducting research on the link between productivity in the public sector and the government’s wage bill.

“We’re going to check whether productivity is actually reflective of the wage bill.

“Our (FFC) concern is the size of the wage bill, their (PSC) concern is the efficiency of the public service,” Khumalo said.

Earlier this year, after former finance minister Pravin Gordhan tabled the government’s R1.25 trillion budget, it was reported that public sector workers cost R450 billion of the total amount.

Khumalo said the government was not getting value for the wage bill, which was growing too fast.

The public sector wage bill has consistently constituted the largest component of the government’s expenditure and has the potential to undermine the state’s fulfilment of its service delivery mandate, according to the FFC.

The FFC, the permanent expert commission that advises and recommends to Parliament, provincial legislatures, organised local government and other organs of state on financial and fiscal matters, hopes to include the results of the research in its annual submission to Parliament on the 2016/17 Division of Revenue Bill in May next year.

The FFC and PSC research is one of three massive multimillion-rand salary reviews for public servants and municipal councillors the government is launching through which it hopes to determine whether it is getting value for money for the billions it pays employees.

Khumalo indicated that if the outcomes of the research were to indicate that efficiency levels were low, the government would have answers on why outcomes were so bad – especially in health, education and social development divisions.

“Then we’ll look at how to improve efficiency levels without having to further increase the wage bill,” he said.

Former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo heads the Presidential Public Service Remuneration Review Commission, for the establishment of which the Public Service and Administration Department set aside R13.6 million in 2013/14.

The department has set aside another R10m in 2014/15 for the commission, set up by President Jacob Zuma to review public service remuneration policy framework and establish the appropriateness of remuneration and conditions of service of public servants.

The R10m includes R6.3m allocated to compensate commission employees and R3.7m for consultants, travel and subsistence and venues and facilities.

Ngcobo’s commission has until April to conclude its work and four months to submit its final report to Zuma.

The Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers is also reviewing the salaries of the country’s 10 055 councillors.

Its review will check if there are inconsistencies in the payment of councillors, amend job profiles and identify career paths to help attract and retain them.

The remuneration commission will also check the cost implications of having councillors paid from the national fiscus rather than from municipalities’ budgets.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, his Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs counterpart Pravin Gordhan, the SA Local Government Association and a sample of municipalities identified by the commission will be consulted during the review.

The government is a key employer and, according to the FFC, South Africans are twice as likely to be employed in the public sector compared to 40 years ago.

The FFC has previously blamed the influence of the trade unions, coupled with weak management, on the outcome of wage bargaining agreements.

loyiso.sidimba@inl.co.za
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