Records have it that the Department of Transport (DoT) paid over 1100 employees R62.2 million for nothing. Yes, nothing.This is culled from a written reply to a parliamentary question which revealed that an enormous R62.2 million was spent on employees suspended with full pay within the DoT and its parastatal in three financial years leading up to and including 2015.
Moreover, there are speculations that the figures above are understated. This is because the response from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) only indicated monthly salaries without stipulating the employees’ length of suspension.
Nonetheless, the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters in her replies highlighted that in the 2014/15 financial year alone, more than 1100 employees received salaries whilst at home on suspension.
Reacting, Manny de Freitas, Shadow Minister of Transport said the revelation is a “mockery to the suffering of the poor and unemployed, who cannot find work.
…Millions of South Africans cannot find jobs (and) DOT is acting recklessly by spending millions on suspended employees whilst it is a clear fact that countless South Africans do not have jobs because government claims they cannot afford to pay any more staff.”
The Shadow Minister said employees have the right to be suspended on full pay. But then, argued that “the problem is the length of time it takes for justice to take its course, which results in wasteful expenditure.”
Based on that, De Freitas stated that he “will be asking the Minister to institute an investigation into this ongoing, and growing, phenomenon within the DoT and the public service in general.
The public has a right to know why employees are allowed to sit at home and get paid their full salaries for doing so,” De Freitas added.
And thereafter, pointed out that South Africa is faced with a gross shortage of jobs.
“It is beyond reason that the DoT can act so recklessly with taxpayers money and they have done so with impunity. The DA will not rest until the facts are laid bare in public and government executives are held accountable for negligence,” De Freitas vowed.