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Public service and administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo. Picture: MOELETSI MABE
Public service and administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo. Picture: MOELETSI MABE

The state has spent more than R14bn on public servants who have taken sick or incapacity leave since the outbreak of Covid-19, highlighting the enormous cost of the pandemic to the government and taxpayers.  

This was revealed by public service and administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo in a written parliamentary response published this week.

Between March 28 2020 and October 31 2021, 881,152 employees took the two categories of leave, public service and administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo said in a written response to DA MP Mimmy Gondwe.

“The total cost of the public service in respect of the normal sick leave and incapacity leave for the period in point amounts to R14,346,032,476,” Dlodlo wrote. 

In terms of departments, the police took the most leave.

She provided a breakdown by province and national department as follows:  

  • In the Eastern Cape provincial administration, 61,133 employees took leave at a cost of R778,619,363;  
  • In the Free State, 44,132 workers at a cost of R581,716,125;
  • In Gauteng 137,165 members at a cost of R1,723,825,933;
  • In KwaZulu-Natal 117,580 employees at a cost of R1,647,791,837;
  • In Limpopo 68,112 workers at a cost of R894,836,235;
  • In Mpumalanga 35,855 members at a cost of R398,417,813;
  • In the North West 39,435 employees at a cost of R441,439,119;
  • In Northern Cape 15,330 workers at cost of R212,157,011; and
  • In the Western Cape 66,620 members, costing of R830,571,532.

In terms of departments, the police took the most leave:

  • Police spent R2,272,756,578, as 151 182 employees took leave;
  • Water and sanitation spent R34,914,884, with 2,734 workers on leave; 
  • Justice and constitutional development spent R249,005,957, with 16,325 members on leave;
  • Correctional services spent R681,622,732, with 38,509 employees on leave;
  • Higher education and training spent R109,240,434, with 9,805 workers on leave.

Dlodlo said the numbers excluded the department of defence and the State Security Agency.

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