Labour Minister cuts funding to critical job-saving entity

The DA has requested that the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Labour, Ms Lumka Yengeni, summon the Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, to account for the mess in her department, especially the crisis at Productivity SA.
The Portfolio Committee on Labour was recently informed that all the Labour Department’s funding to Productivity SA has been stopped while a forensic audit takes place to investigate allegations of financial mismanagement at Productivity SA. No-one has been suspended pending the outcome of the audit.
Although the DA welcomes this investigation for the sake of good governance and transparency, simply cutting off funding repeatedly is no way for the Department of Labour to manage this entity.
Productivity SA also had their funding cut completely in quarter one of the current financial year, and after being reinstated in quarter two, it was again completely cut in the third quarter.
The mandate of Productivity SA includes saving jobs by saving companies in distress through various rescue initiatives. These initiatives have saved thousands of jobs each year, by making companies more productive and more competitive in the marketplace.
In 2016, 713 000 jobs were lost in South Africa – some of which could have been saved by Productivity SA, if they were financed to do their job.
With Productivity SA on the brink of collapse, Minister Oliphant is once again missing in action. In the last seven years, she has only accounted to the Parliamentary Committee twice. She is yet to send out a statement or conduct a media briefing on the matter.
The DA will not sit back in silence as Minister Oliphant runs her department without any accountability. Funding to Productivity SA must be reinstated in order to provide more job opportunities for the lost generation who struggle to gain employment.

Fire Dlamini and give grants negotiations to Gordhan

With only a month until the expiration of the Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) contract and the switchover of social grants payments to 17 million vulnerable South Africans, the eleventh hour withdrawal of SASSA’s Constitutional Court application by Minister Bathabile Dlamini is a clear display of her disdain for the law and her firm commitment to disregard every piece of advice she has received from key government institutions and her legal counsel.
Minister Dlamini’s sudden withdrawal of this application raises a number of questions. Is the Minister nervous of what could happen should the Constitutional Court make adverse comments on her conduct? Is she nervous of the possible consequences to her political future? And most importantly, what is going to happen to the 17 million South Africans who rely on social grants to stay alive?
The DA cannot, as a matter of conscience, trust Bathabile Dlamini with the livelihoods of 17 million poor and vulnerable South Africans, and urgently calls on President Jacob Zuma to hand over the negotiations of the grants payment process to the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan.
Minister Dlamini has allowed for this situation to reach crisis point. The President must appoint National Treasury to take the lead role in the negotiations for a new service provider, in terms of Section 97 of the Constitution, in order to ensure that this process is cost effective and transparent.
The DA is also currently consulting with its lawyers to explore the possible avenues for the DA to take to contribute to a transparent and legal grants payment process.
The DA shares the anger of all decent South Africans at the Minister’s blatant disregard of the consequences of her disdainful ineptitude towards the 17 million South Africans who rely on social grants which is a cause for great concern.
It only serves to strengthen our call that Bathabile Dlamini is no longer fit to head any governmental department and President Zuma must fire her with immediate effect.
The DA will do everything it can to help ensure that South Africans receive their full grants, on time. The ANC will not be allowed to get away with taking away the grants of poor South Africans.

Did SAA pay R50 000 for Myeni’s splurge in Oyster Box presidential suite?

The DA has been informed that SAA board chair Dudu Myeni spent a night in the presidential suite of the luxury Oyster Box Hotel in the up-market Umhlanga Rocks beach resort on Saturday the 25th of February 2017.
We believe that Dudu Myeni apparently attended the ANC fundraiser at the five-star Oyster Box Hotel on Saturday the 25th of February and then apparently spent the night in the presidential suite which we understand costs R 50 000 for a one night stay.
This is extreme extravagance from a person who has single-handedly managed to drive SAA into debt of R17.9 billion that is secured by way of a South African Government (taxpayer) guarantee of R 19.1 billion. We should not be surprised that such excess comes from the same person who apparently made 23 holiday trips around the world at the expense of the Mhlathuze Water Board.
Also at the Oyster Box the same night as Ms Myeni was President Zuma who addressed an ANC fundraiser event that cost attendees up to R 750 000,00 for a “package”. The cost presumably varied depending on how close to President Zuma you sat. The proximity that allowed for holding hands was no doubt the most expensive.
I will submit a written question to the Minister of Finance to establish whether SAA or any other public entity paid for accommodation at the Oyster Box hotel for SAA Board Chair Dudu Myeni.
In addition I will ask whether SAA or any other public entity sponsored the ANC event or paid for any persons to attend the ANC fundraiser held at the Oyster Box Hotel on the same night.