The opposition Democratic Alliance has slammed the Department of Public Service and Administration after it emerged that taxpayers are paying millions of rands for suspended officials.

Responding in a recent parliamentary Q&A, minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele said six heads of departments are currently on suspension pending the finalisation of their disciplinary cases. The combined salaries of the six officials exceed R12 million, data provided by Gungubele shows.

All of the suspended department heads have been sitting at home for a period of not less than one year, and three of the suspended officials have been on suspension as far back as 2020. The charges levelled against the officials include tender irregularities, gross negligence and misconduct.

“The inordinate delays in the finalisation of disciplinary cases, within the public service, have become a recurring problem with no discernible action being taken by the ANC government to fix the problem.

“At a time when service delivery outcomes continue to fail our people, it is extremely unfair and unreasonable for the South African taxpayer to continuously pay the price for the failure, on the part of government departments, to expeditiously finalise and manage disciplinary cases,” said the DA’s Mimmy Gondwe.

Gondwe said that the millions of rand that the South African taxpayer continues to pay for suspended officials in the public service have become nothing short of a ‘very expensive cadre deployment tax’.

“This is precisely why the DA has introduced an End Cadre Deployment Bill in Parliament  – to enforce merit-based appointments throughout the public service and also make it illegal for politicians to find employment in the public administration.”

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