Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: VELI NHLAPO/SOWETAN
Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: VELI NHLAPO/SOWETAN

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane admitted that her department paid out R30m worth of bonuses to its employees, despite the department being found wanting in the management of its financial books.

This emerged in a written reply by the minister to MPs’ questions released on Monday morning. The department had also been dealing with the suspension of its director-general, Dan Mashitisho, since July.

In a reply to a written question from DA MP Anchen Dreyer, Mokonyane said 1.5% of the total provision for salaries was allocated towards performance reviews.

"This regulation is provided for by the Department of Public Service and Administration. My department has complied with the regulation, and a total of 1,961 employees qualified for performance bonuses," Mokonyane said.

She said 1,959 officials between salary levels 1 and 12 got the bulk of the R30m in performance bonuses. Two officials in salary levels 13 and 14 got a bonus of R58,092.82 and R69,069.60 respectively.

After repeated attempts at getting Mokonyane to account to Parliament, the legislature has asked her to provide the names of officials responsible for the department’s irregular spend, as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

The minister blamed circumstances beyond her control for the state of her department’s finances. She said projects were well executed by departments but poorly maintained by municipalities.

In his 2015-16 audit report, Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu noted that the department incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditure to the value of R87.2m and irregular expenditure amounting to R2.5bn.

In a five-hour committee meeting, Mokonyane was asked pointed questions about who was responsible for incidences including double and triple payments to some companies by the department and failure to pay others within 30 days.

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