JOHANNESBURG: Ms Zulu announced that R11 175 950 was irregularly paid to ineligible beneficiaries.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) has noted with concerns over the disclosure by Social Development Minister (DSD), Ms Lindiwe Zulu that public servants were irregularly paid the R350 Covid-19 grants meant for unemployed citizens.
According to reports, Ms Zulu announced that R11 175 950 was irregularly paid to ineligible beneficiaries.
The minister revealed this while responding in writing to parliamentary questions by DA MPs Ms Gizella Opperman and Ms Mimmy Gondwe.
“The auditor-general had identified a total of 67 670 irregular payments. The agency had started recovering money from 15 711 public servants who had received the R350 grants,” said Minister.
Ms Zulu also said 15,069 people who benefited from the special grant and the Unemployment Insurance Fund and 2,119 people who benefited from the Covid-19 grant and UIF were referred to the Fusion Centre for further investigation.
As stated in a statement, the PSC said this was not the first time such irregularities in the public service had been reported as evidenced by a number of investigations conducted by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and other law enforcement agencies.
The investigations were particularly on corruption relating to the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and UIF Temporary Employer or Employee Relief Scheme and others, following the Covid-19 outbreak.
“It is disheartening to know that individuals that are supposed to promote professional ethics and act in an ethical manner are the ones stealing from the vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society,” the commission said
The PSC said it’s important to professionalise the public service so that through relevant training, public servants can be equipped with skills and competencies to make ethical decisions, develop organizational integrity and apply the core ethical values and standards in and outside the workplace.
It further hoped that the heads of affected government departments will speed up the recovery of the R350 paid from their officials and that relevant disciplinary processes will be instituted against the culprits.
The PSC said it will closely monitor this process to ensure that indeed funds are recovered from the culprits and also reporting progress to Parliament, including the public.