Ghost workers remain invisible

To speak from each side of the mouth is a key a part of equivocating. It is when a speaker offers voice to 2 opposing views with a purpose to mislead or maintain his choices open.

It occurred this week in parliament when Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula made an about-turn about so-called ghost staff on the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa). In March, Minister Razzmatazz shocked the nation when he revealed the rail operator stopped paying the salaries of three 000 “employees” and nobody got here ahead to complain they hadn’t been paid. The “grand scam” was found throughout Operation Ziveze geared toward uncovering irregularities.

The minister informed us there was a system of corruption inside human assets and any individual had orchestrated the rip-off to steal cash.

“In a normal company, you can’t afford to have one ghost worker. We have 3 000  and since December a stoppage was done on paying those people,” he stated on the time however couldn’t affirm whether or not the ghosts had been a part of Prasa’s workforce of 16 985.

In a rustic with rampant unemployment, we had been outraged that public funds had been pilfered to pay fictitious staff. We anticipated the minister to pursue the matter with zeal to get well the cash, and even lock up those that had benefited unduly.

Clearly, there could be a paper path permitting Prasa to hint the financial institution accounts that obtained fraudulent salaries.

Fast ahead to this week when Minister Fearfokol (as he typically refers to himself) appeared earlier than parliament to provide an replace on whether or not Prasa had carried out steps to get well cash from the ghosts. Mbaks stated there was no freezing of salaries as Prasa was nonetheless auditing and confirming the unidentified people.

“This is to protect the credibility of the process by ensuring that the company does not stop the salaries of active employees who are on duly authorised absence from work, on leave, sick leave, suspension, maternity leave and employees working outside the cities,” got here his reply.

Bathong!  Didn’t the identical minister declare a couple of months in the past that when salaries had been stopped, nobody got here ahead to complain?

How I want I used to be making this up. To his credit score, the minister has admitted Prasa is damaged.

This is the corporate that fired safety corporations in the course of the onerous lockdown in 2020. As a end result, thieves stole sleepers whereas stations had been vandalised. Billions of rand might be required to exchange the heavy sleepers. To make issues worse, casual settlements have mushroomed close to the rail strains whereas Prasa and the minister had been asleep.

The thoughts boggles.

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Vusi Nzapheza

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