36 000 ghost North West officials draw salary for zero work

By Chris Hattingh (MPL), DA Caucus Leader in the North West Legislature:

The Democratic Alliance in North West learned with shock this morning that currently nearly 36 000 ghost officials in the province receive a monthly salary and benefits, doing not a minute of work.

Ghost officials are not new to the North West Provincial Government – in 2008 millions of rands was spent on consultants to develop a system that was supposed to eradicate the problem. Now, only 7 years later, it seems that was a fruitless exercise and a waste of taxpayers’ money, which must be condemned as throwing good money after bad.

This morning Premier Supra Mahumapelo revealed the figure of 36 000 ghost workers at a SCOPA meeting.

It is shocking and unacceptable that ghost workers receive pension benefits, and medical aid funds.

North West has become notorious for over-expenditure on personnel budgets – especially in the Department of Education and Health. These two departments are subsequently also some of the worst performing departments in the province and are currently under financial administration.

These two departments were simultaneously underspending on capital projects and conditional grants.

This latest revelation from Mahumapelo confirms that the system of factional cadre deployment of the ANC as practised in the North West has a devastating effect, not only on delivery but only the public’s purse. Regardless of skills, qualifications, capacity and experience people are employed to keep friends and pals happy, rather than to deliver to the people of the North West.

The DA will now request that the Premier tables the outcomes and effects of the 2008 program to root out ghost workers, so that the Legislature can interrogate the millions of rands spent on this clearly failed intervention.

The Premier must also table a new plan to rid NWPG of these ghost officials. The DA will also enquire on procedures and on the consequences on those who are indirectly and directly involved in this scam. The steps should include how to recover the money from the guilty recipients of these salaries.