Please find attached soundbite by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP.
The DA has submitted parliamentary questions to the Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, requesting that she, amongst other things, provide a breakdown of the individual departments that are currently conducting disciplinary cases into the theft of the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant by public servants and the progress made by the individual departments in concluding these disciplinary cases.
It cannot be business as usual when it has become clear as day that these disciplinary cases have not been concluded within 90 day period prescribed by the Public Service Regulations of 2016.
According to media reports, when asked during a recent post-SONA briefing if the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) would be taking action against public servants who unlawfully applied for and/or received the SRD grant, Minister Dlodlo stated that it was not the DPSA that would be taking action against the implicated public servants, but rather the individual departments who knew who the culprits are in this regard.
The DA is not persuaded by Minister Dlodlo’s response as it seems to suggest that individual departments have a far greater role to play than the DPSA in ensuring that corrupt and unethical public servants are brought to book.
Granted, the responsibility of managing disciplinary cases against public servants lies primarily with individual departments. However, the DA takes the firm and considered view that in instances where the corruption or misconduct has become public knowledge and widespread, the responsibility of managing disciplinary cases must also lie squarely with the DPSA given that it is charged with, amongst other things, developing the policy and procedure around the management of disciplinary cases within the public service and also managing the Personal and Salary System (PERSAL) system which stores information on public servants, including their records of misconduct.
It has been almost a year since the DA first brought to light the fact that public servants had unlawfully applied for and/or received the SRD grant. But, to date, not a single public servant has been brought to book.
Yesterday’s Budget Speech confirmed that the SRD grant will be extended by the Minister of Finance for at least another year. It is, therefore, imperative for Minister Dlodlo to ensure the SRD grant related disciplinary cases are handled expeditiously and measures put in place to prevent the further theft of the SRD grant by corrupt and unethical public servants.
The DA further calls on Minister Dlodlo to put in place urgent interventions and reforms that will ensure the SRD grant related disciplinary cases as well as other outstanding disciplinary cases within the public service are expeditiously handled.