Government officials sitting at home for wrongdoing are being paid handsomely by their respective departments.

In the 2015/16 financial year, 38 officials who were under precautionary suspension for over 60 days were paid close to R9 264 144. 37.

The DA can also reveal that just over R3 million had been spent on suspended officials in the previous financial year.

It is concerning that in the space of one year this figure has tripled to over R9 million.

The table below illustrates the number of people who were placed on precautionary suspension for the 2015/16 financial year and the cost to taxpayers:

It further proves the disregard this government has for law and order, as the Policy provides for the transfer of employees  – who are under investigation – to other departments pending the outcome of their disciplinary hearings.This is in complete violation of the Disciplinary Codes and Procedure for Public Service Policy and the DPSA Public Service Precautionary Suspensions Guide, which stipulates that the period of a precautionary suspension should not exceed 60 days.

This move could have eliminated the unnecessary expenditure.

In light of the recent Eskom crisis and stagnant service delivery, the Mpumalanga Provincial Government needs to eliminate the unnecessary expenditure.

The DA has now submitted questions to the various MEC whose department’s contributed to this figure to gain clarity as to why it is taking so long to solve these cases.

Depending on the answers that we receive, we will consider further action to hold the government accountable.

Money meant for the people, should be spent on the people – so that we can create jobs and deliver better services to all the people.