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By Dimakatso Modipa

ActionSA  party members at the Public Servies Commission's head office in Pretoria to deliver a scathing memorandum on Thursday
ActionSA party members at the Public Servies Commission’s head office in Pretoria to deliver a scathing memorandum on Thursday

ActionSA has called upon the Public Service Commission to act on its mandate as an oversee of public service integrity.

The party’s top brass, led by Mpumi Edwards, delivered a scathing memorandum to the Public Serives Commission’s headquarters in Tshwane on Thursday, demanding among other issues, the eradication of ghost workers in various government departments.

“We are not here to make friends with wrong-doers, and we will not compromise our values by ignoring corruption,” said Edwards as she addressed the media shortly after submitting the party’s memorandum.

Edwards bemoaned the fact that the public sector wage bill currently consumes a staggering 34,7% of the government’s expenditure and that such a scenario should alarm any patriot in the country.

ActionSA member Mpumi Edwards read a memorandum at the head office of Public Servies Commission's
ActionSA member Mpumi Edwards read a memorandum at the head office of Public Servies Commission’s

She stressed that ActionSA’s research, backed by reliable sources, exposed several government departments which are plagued by the scourge of ghost employees.

According to Edwards, the Department of Basic Education, Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (PRASA) and the South African Police Services (SAPS) are the worst affected in this regard.

“On 26 March this year, ActionSA sent a letter to Public Service and Administration Minister Noxolo Kiviet, calling for an investigation into ghost workers within the Department of Basic Education,” said Edwards.

She said the request was made as the department employs a mammoth 450 000 people, and that lobby group Corruption Watch had estimated that there are thousands of ghost workers at various schools in the country.

“But the Minister, as expected from an ANC deployee, did not respond to, or acknowledge, our letter,” she lamented.

“In 2022, out of 17 268 PRASA employees, 3000 were ghost workers,” revealed Edwards.

She said it was alarming that South Africa spent 34,7% of its national budget on public sector wages, yet the government’s state Institutions failed to fulfill their basic basic mandates.

“It is worth noting that South Africa’s public sector wage bill is one of the highest in the world, and in our quest to reduce this amount of money, we strongly believe this can’t be achieved if government departments and SOEs continued paying salaries to ghost employees,” she said.

“We turn to the Public Service Commission for intervention as it is a neutral body tasked with overseering public service integrity,” she said.

“We demand that the Commission conducts thorough investigations across all government departments and entities, focusing mainly on the Department of Basic Education, SAPS and PRASA,” said Edwards.

As a point of departure, Edwards demanded a vigorous audit of all government departments, which is not limited to head counts, to ascertain the number of employees at these departments as of March 2024.

ActionSA’s petition was received by the department’s commissioners Errol Magerman and Vusimuzi Mavuso.

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