While the best available estimates show that over 3 million people in the private sector have already lost their jobs and that a fifth of private sector employees did not receive a salary in June as a result of the ANC lockdown crisis, the DA says it can exclusively reveal that at least 84 337 cadres and public servants were paid their full salaries during the lockdown to do nothing.
According to National Treasury, the average salary in the public service is R393 000 per annum, or R32 750 per month. Dr Leon Schreiber – DA Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration – said in a statement on Sunday that this means that, over the past four months of the lockdown crisis, the ANC has spent over R11 billion in taxpayer money to pay the salaries of at least 84 000 state employees who “had their workloads reduced significantly.”
In response to a parliamentary question posed by the DA, Minister of Public Service and Administration, Senzo Mchunu, bluntly stated that “during the national lockdown, all public servants will continue to receive their full salaries” even if they are not doing any work.
Mchunu also provided a breakdown per government department of the over 84 000 employees who “had their workloads reduced significantly” during levels 4 and 5 of the lockdown.
“To understand the full scale of the ANC’s determination to keep feeding its public sector patronage network, consider that the R11 billion wasted over the past four months on state employees who were not working is equivalent to 15.7% of the $4.3 billion that the government was recently forced to borrow from the IMF,” says Dr Schreiber.
Dr Schreiber goes on to praise the DA-led Western Cape which immediately put systems in place to ensure that almost all public servants continued earning their salaries throughout the lockdown, unlike the national government and ANC-controlled provinces which “happily wasted precious public funds to pay workers for not working, and while millions of private sector employees lost all they had”.
The DA says it will be writing to Mchunu to find out why the government did not require “non-essential” public servants to claim from the UIF-TERS system in the same way that it forced private employees to surrender their salaries.
“If the government was confident that TERS would adequately compensate workers for lost income, why did it refuse to make non-essential cadres give up their salaries and also claim from TERS like private sector workers?
“It is nothing short of a national scandal that the ANC willfully destroyed the livelihoods of at least three million private sector workers, but at the same made sure that state employees who were not doing any work at all continued to receive full pay and benefits,” said the statement.