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Over 20 000 public servants have been subjected to lifestyle review

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The first phase of lifestyle audits in the public service space have seen a total of 21574 public servants subjected to lifestyle review, says Public Service and Administration Acting Minister, Mr Thulas Nxesi in his written replies for oral question in the National Assembly regarding the number of public servants who have been subjected to lifestyle audits since January this year.

Minister Nxesi said: “With regard to the lifestyle investigation and lifestyle audits, 21 574 public servants have been subjected to lifestyle review, which is the first phase of lifestyle audit, as at January 2022.

“There were 746 public servants who are undergoing investigation for non-disclosure of assets, vehicles and companies as well as conflicts of interest. The breakdown of the number of lifestyle audits conducted as at January 2022 are as follows; the  national departments’ lifestyle reviews conducted amounts to 12 557; provincial government departments’ lifestyle reviews conducted amounts to 9 017,” he said.

Minister Nxesi further said the total number of public servants earning a salary at level 15 was 467 and level 16 was 122, as on 28 February 2022. However, he said this excludes Defence and State Security Agency.

Cost of salary increase for SMS members

Acting Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Mr TW Nxesi said the total cost of the salary increases for members of the Senior Management Service (SMS) for the 2021/22 financial year is R373 165 844. In his written replies for oral question in the National Assembly, the Minister said it must be noted that no decision on salary increases for members of the SMS for the 2022/23 financial year has yet been taken.

A breakdown of the cost of the salary increases for SMS levels 13, 14, 15 and 16 for the 2021/22 financial year is indicated in the table below:

 

SMS salary level Cost (R)
13 243 526 088
14 85 976 406
15 25 203 259
16 18 460 091
Total 373165 844
   

“The the salary increases for members of the SMS in the Public Service are regarded as just, equitable and an efficient use of public money in the current economic climate. The salary adjustments granted to members of the SMS is equitable, considering the fact that it is similar to what was granted to employees below the SMS.

“If the salaries of members of the SMS are not adjusted, it will result in a situation where employees below SMS will earn more that senior managers. The gap between the maximum salary notch of a Deputy Director on salary level 12 and a Director on the minimum of salary level 13 is already narrow.

“In some occupation specific dispensations, staff below SMS level already earn more than senior managers. This situation creates a disincentive for competent employees to aspire to become senior managers.

“It should be noted that the 2019 Incentive policy framework provides for payment of annual pay (notch) progression for eligible members of the SMS,” he said, adding that “the cost-of-living adjustment for 2021/22 was granted in lieu of pay progression.

“Furthermore, the remuneration of the members of the SMS are impacted by the changes in the consumer price index (CPI) that reflect changes in the cost-of-living and which has a direct impact on the “buying power” of their remuneration.  As a result, the adjustments are necessary to protect the “buying power” of the salaries of members of the SMS.”