EC officials rack up millions in overtime claims - DA

15:17 (GMT+2) Wed, 14 Aug 2019

The Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape said while officials live it up raking in huge sums in overtime and travel, the people are taking to the streets to protest against the lack of service delivery.

DA MPL, Retief Odendaal, said in a statement on Wednesday that three EC government officials, each claimed more than R1 million per annum in overtime, and another claimed more than R50 000 for Substance and Travel per month.

"These are just some of the examples of the shocking rate at which money is being wasted by the Eastern Cape Provincial government," Odendaal said.

He said the EC provincial government has to get its priorities right as officials cannot be burning through cash at this rate while the province is on fire.

"In spite of making promises about putting austerity measures in place, the government has found it impossible to save money by reigning in the spending of departments.  And while this free-spending is on the increase, the provincial treasury, which should be ensuring that departments save money, had it's budget cut by 3,6% to only R441 million," Odendaal said.

He said the biggest culprits regarding overtime claims are officials of the department of health.

"In the 2018/19 financial year, 39 department officials claimed more than R28,5 million in overtime, with three officials claiming more than R1 million each in overtime.

Odendaal said the misuse of Substance and Travel (S&T) grants in the 2018/19 financial year is also a big indicator of the provincial government's inability to cut costs.

"More than R844 million was spent on this line item, with an official from the Department of Health claiming an average of almost R55 000 per month. The government could have easily saved R100 million on S&T and spent this money on service delivery," he said.

Details of these expenditures were provided by the Provincial Treasury.