Speaker’s Office must be first to “trim the fat”

Democratic Alliance media statement by Mark Steele, MPL
Chief Whip to the DA in the KZN Legislature


Information supplied by the KZN Legislature has revealed that the Office of the Speaker employs 18 staff with an annual budget of R13.144 million.  Yet its counterpart in the Western Cape manages to operate effectively with just four contract personnel and an annual budget of R1.7 million.

The difference – more than R11 million – is money which should be spent on frontline services in Health and Education in KZN.

According to information supplied by the Western Cape Legislature, staffing in that province consists of a PA, a media officer and a political adviser all of whom are on contract.  In addition a Treasury Officer renders a direct treasury/budget service to the Speaker. The Speaker also has two drivers/protectors, supplied and funded by the SAPS.  The Deputy Speaker employs one contract employee, a PA, and one driver/protector, supplied and funded by the SAPS.

In KZN, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker have between them three managers, five PAs (one on secondment), a Parliamentary Liaison Officer, a political officer, a protocol officer, a service officer, an administrator, three drivers, a receptionist and the Legislature Spokesperson.

As MPLs from all parties are asking – what do they all do?

This discrepancy cannot be ignored.  At an average of R722 000 per annum per employee, a job in the KZN Office of the Speaker is nice work if you can get it. Yet, despite inflated salaries being the order of the day, it is not quite clear what anyone actually does.

The bigger problem is that the budget is currently under severe pressure and the Legislature will have to cut some R9 million from its operating expenses this financial year. Yet no one is suggesting that the place to make these savings is in the political appointments which crowd out the Speaker’s Office.

The Province talks a good talk when it comes to encouraging everyone to “trim the fat” but it needs to start with the excessive money being spent on deployed cadres.

One Response to “Speaker’s Office must be first to “trim the fat””
  1. Thulani Sibiya says:

    Good informative report Mark. I remember you were my English III lecturer at Indumiso College of Education in 1991. You were a liberal then….and at one stage you took 5 of your STD 3B students to visit your family ata the weekend….and we met your family, played games and ate lunch. Mr Steel you were very humble.I am now a deputy principal somewhere around Durban. I’ve just joined the Democratic Alliance and even applied to be candidate in the 2016 Local government elections at EThekwini Municipality.

    Thanks Mark.

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