The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal calls on the Auditor General to name the consultants who have clocked R30 billion in fees for services to government departments, including the KZN Provincial Departments and it believes that the large bill for consultants is indicative of a lack of capacity and adequate skills development and retention within the provincial departments.
"KwaZulu-Natal spent R5bn on consultants. The KZN Department of Transport forked out more than R2 billion and the Department of Health spent almost R1.8 billion.
"Questions must be asked: Who are these consultants? We will write to the Auditor-General asking him to make public the names of the consultants used by the provincial departments to see how much was spent on each consultant.
"We need to have a capacitated public service that uses consultants prudently and transparently," said IFP Leader in the KZN Legislature, Mr Blessed Gwala, MPL.
"The MECs responsible for these departments must be held accountable. They must also provide answers about why so much money was spent on consultants when there should be people employed to do those jobs. Appointing politically connected individuals as consultants and service providers destroys the capacity of the state to deliver. I will request that the KZN legislature's standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) conduct an investigation into the use of consultants by the provincial government," continued Mr Gwala.
"The problem of referring challenges to consultants is that it tends to reinforce a poor planning culture within departments, and leads to consultants being brought. Over-use of consultants also releases senior government officials from the responsibility of developing the capacity within their own departments. It allows the MEC and senior officials to shift the blame for failures and leads to accountability being chronically eroded," concluded Mr Gwala.
The IFP calls for a moratorium on the use of consultants until the government has established the capacity to plan and monitor their work, and calls for an investigation into the use of consultants, "including a register detailing their delivery successes and failures".
Mr Blessed Gwala,
IFP Leader of the IFP in the KZN Legislature, 078 290 5842
Mr Phendulani Biyase, IFP KZN Legislature Media Officer, 073 024 5675