Bloated Public Administration serves ANC cadres, not the public

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered in Parliament today by DA Shadow Minister of Public Service and Administration, Desiree van der Walt MP, during the Budget Vote on Public Service and Administration.
Honourable Chair and Colleagues,
Today I would like to honour the thousands of hard working and dedicated public servants striving to do their jobs, those servants who are not captured but try to deliver services to the South African public.
Minister Muthambi, today marks the 55th day since your appointment to this Department.
Yet, you have made no effort to attend any of the Portfolio Committee meetings or the two-day workshop which dealt with the Department of Public Service and Administration’s (DPSA) Annual Performance Plans (APP) and Budget.
You were, however, very quick to start spending money by hosting two Imbizos – one on your 29th day in office and a second on your 35th day in office, at an estimated R1.3 million.
You were even quicker to start building your personal empire.
I am not sure if you have seen this document referred to as the Ministerial Handbook with specific reference to Chapter 8 before?
It states that you are allowed a total of 10 posts in your Private Office Staff Compliment, not 22.
However, Minister, you have never been one to adhere to rules. As you have shown time after time, you have an utter disregard for your oath of office and the Executive Ethics Code.
Was it really necessary to re-staff DPSA with your cadres? Clearly, we all know the answer to this.
In the ANC, blind loyalty is rewarded, especially the blind loyalty to corruption and ineffectiveness.
I suggest that you prioritise the following on your reading list:
• The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa;
• The Ministerial Handbook;
• The Austerity Measures Document of National Treasury;
• Treasury Regulations; and
• Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
Please note that according to Chapter 10 of the Constitution of South Africa, this Department must be governed by 9 democratic values and principles which includes:
• The efficient, economic and effective use of resources must be promoted;
• Services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias;
• People’s needs must be responded to; and
• Public administration must be accountable.
Public administration must be broadly representative of the South African people, with employment and personnel management practices based on ability, objectivity, fairness and the need to redress the imbalances of the past to achieve broad representation.
South Africa’s bloated Cabinet is amongst the worlds largest in relation to the size of its population. Obviously President Zuma’s massive Cabinet has a direct correlation with the massive size of our Public Sector Wage Bill.
The Public Sector Wage Bill is reflective of the growth of the Executive – as increasingly more government posts and entities must be created to support a bloated executive structure.
This is problematic because it is one of government’s biggest expenditure items. The ANC-led government allocated more than R550 billion to public sector wages for the 2017/18 financial year.
This means that the public wage bill, which amounted to 5% of total government expenditure in 1994, has swelled to 43% of total government expenditure in 2017.
The government headcount has finally levelled off at around 1.32 million staff‚ but wage growth remains spectacular compared to the private sector.
Should the upcoming wage negotiations, which are to be conducted later this year‚ be concluded at similar agreements to previous years‚ it could definitely add further risk to the fiscal outlook.
Minister it will be useful for you to examine the details of the wage settlements since the 2015/16 financial year which has already resulted in a total average increase of 11.5% per employee.
The total increase in the wage bill over the past 3 years is an absolutely shocking R77.3 billion. Let that sink in, R77.3 billion- this money could certainly be spent in a better place.
We literally have people who are dying of hunger in our country, we have people living on the streets and 9 million South Africans are unemployed. Surely there must be a better way to spend this extravagant amount?
Wave after wave of above-inflation pay hikes for public sector employees, particularly in ministries which provide very little public benefit, is simply not sustainable nor is it justifiable.
As part of your Department’s 38 Annual Targets, you have to develop proposals for the next round of salary negotiations.
What criteria will you use to ensure it is sustainable and that it will enhance service delivery to the people especially the poorest communities in South Africa?
Yet, the ANC government even with its bloated public service, has failed miserably to provide basic services to our people.
But there is hope. When the DA takes over the Union Buildings in 2019, we will ensure that there is service delivery for every single citizen in our country by reducing public administration to make it more efficient and therefore freeing up money for service delivery.
Our new reshuffled Minister has an utter disregard for money and has very little regard for austerity measures.
After being moved around from one department to another, when will we finally be able to consider this Minister’s mischief managed?
The DA has absolutely no Faith in Minister Muthambi.
Thank you.