More 'spent on pay than on services '
"There are people in office whose orientation is getting the best for themselves out of the system even at the expense of service delivery, and people who do not have the requisite skills"
THE ANC has allowed itself to be painted as indecisive and reluctant to act swiftly and this has had a crippling effect on the functioning of provincial departments.
This, according to the chairman of Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), Themba Godi, had led to these departments paying staff more than they spent on delivering services.
Godi said yesterday this dissatisfaction was evidenced by sporadic service delivery protests.
He said while the ANC government made efforts to correct the wrongs, its officials still held narrow political interests at the expense of provincial departments.
Godi said these departments had to battle with problems ranging from personnel spending, supply chain and expenditure control to those related to human resources.
"You find that there are people in office whose orientation is getting the best for themselves out of the system even at the expense of service delivery and people who do not have the requisite skills," he said.
He conceded that, as per the recommendations made by the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) to the National Council of Provinces, the cabinet's intervention framework was underdeveloped and needed to be tightened.
The North West and KwaZulu-Natal departments of education were earlier this year found to be among the culprits who were spending most of their funds on ghost teachers.
FFC chairman Bongani Khumalo said human resource systems and practises across the nine provinces were not in place or failing.
"Generally, if overspending on personnel is a true reflection of pressures on provincial budgets, it may be necessary for government to undertake an audit of all its employees.
"This would ensure that no funds were lost due to 'ghost' personnel or double payments.
"Organisational design interventions would then ensure that there was an appropriate mix of skills, front line versus back office personnel and so on," Khumalo said.
At the heart of the matter is national government's negotiations strategy which is outside direct control of provinces.