Political patronage, family jobs - and high phone bills
Report details rot in Limpopo education department
The Limpopo education department spent R25 million a year on phone bills, and its financial systems were in a state of “decay”, The Star reported on Friday.
It further contravened financial laws by splitting a multi-million rand tender into smaller ones of R500,000 each to avoid a bidding process, according to a 47-page report authored by the department’s former administrator, Anis Karodia.
The Star reported that according to the document, the department was “top-heavy”, some senior managers had no relevant qualifications and were in their jobs because of “political patronage”.
The report was presented to members of the National Council of Provinces on their four-day fact-finding mission to Limpopo in March.
According to Karodia the department went bankrupt due to a culture of nepotism and clock-watching.
There were “family ties and friendships from the very top”.
There was no oversight by MEC Dickson Masemola, department head Morebudi Thamaga, chief financial officer Martin Mashaba, or senior management.
Staff captured staff allowances on the BSA IT system, used to capture goods, rather than Persal, used for staff information, to evade paying tax.
A total of 1,806 cellphones were issued, costing about R1 million a month, and the same amount for the landlines.
“This means that the cellphone and landline usage per year is in the region of R25 million,” according to the report.
Limpopo education department spokesman told The Star: “The MEC challenged the authenticity of the report and the unsubstantiated allegations presented by Dr Karodia... Up to date those allegations were never substantiated.”
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga fired Karodia in May.
The department went bankrupt in September last year and was placed under administration in December.