SA Government Rewards Incompetence with R2.6bn Bonuses

CAPE TOWN, 14 November 2019 – In the 2018/19 financial year, South Africa’s national and provincial governments spent R2.6 billion of public money on bonuses for cadres and millionaire managers. This includes R628 million spent by the national government, and R1.97 billion spent by provinces. These bonuses are paid to cadres in management positions on top of their average annual salary of R1.4 million per year.

According to Democratic Alliance (DA), the collapsed ANC-led provincial governments of Gauteng (R848 million), Limpopo (R396 million), and Mpumalanga (R244 million) paid the highest bonuses to cadres despite consistently poor audit outcomes.

“This is a clear demonstration that the government rewards incompetence and corruption, officials working in dozens of government departments that received adverse audit outcomes still got hundreds of millions of Rands in bonuses,” says Dr Leon Schreiber MP – DA Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration.

“In the national government, the department of water and sanitation paid its cadres R101 million in bonuses for destroying South Africa’s water infrastructure and causing taps to run dry across the country. Although the department of rural development and land reform continues to undermine property rights by refusing to turn emerging farmers into owners, its managers got R41 million in bonuses. And while the government could not find any money to support farmers in the midst of a crippling drought, the national agriculture department paid R27 million in bonuses to millionaire managers.

“While it spends billions on cadres, in his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, the minister of finance announced that the government has cut R50 million from cervical cancer treatment and R40 million from eradicating pit latrines. This is the immoral choice the ANC continues to make: protecting millionaire cadres while cutting basic services from our most vulnerable citizens.

“During his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, the finance minister told us that the government needs to save at least R150 billion over the next three years to prevent outright economic collapse. If the government is at all serious about choosing citizens over cadres, it would immediately end all bonus payments to millionaire managers.

“The DA also reiterates our call that the government must immediately freeze wages for all managers and administrators for three years, and reduce the number of millionaire managers by a third. This would immediately save R168 billion, freeing up money to prevent fiscal collapse and protect basic services from the limitless greed of ANC cadres,” concludes Schreiber.

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