Gauteng finance MEC refuses to acknowledge overstaffed department

Ashor Sarupen MPL

DA Gauteng spokesperson on Finance

The Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy, today refused to admit that her department is overstaffed, despite the fact that the department has a vacancy rate of 20% – yet has still managed to meet or exceed its performance targets in the last financial year.

This information came to light in the department’s final quarterly report for the last financial year, and in the oversight committee, the MEC indicated there would be a staff review.

In fact, the MEC went as far as to say that the sheer number of vacancies was cause for low morale in the department, due to the empty offices and reporting lines, as well as the number of staff in acting positions.

During oral questions in the house, however, the MEC would not commit to a review or state that her department is bloated, probably due to the presence of the media and the subsequent glare of accountability that such an admission would attract.

The Department of Finance clearly does not need the excessive staff component that it has budgeted for, as it performs back office functions.

Freeing up this budget for service delivery programmes and economic growth programmes would go a long way to bringing real delivery in Gauteng.

The DA will continue to push the MEC to accept that in a tight fiscal space, state expenditure should be prioritised for service delivery and economic growth, and not fund unnecessary staff and vacant positions.