The DA has noted the state's R102bn consultant's bill, as outlined in the Auditor General's (AG) most recent performance audit, and has been studying the report accordingly.
While reports have said much on the cost of these consultants, their roles, appropriateness etc., the question must be asked: Who are these consultants?
I will be writing to the AG, Mr Terence Nombembe, requesting that he make public the names of the consultants used by the eight government departments audited, namely: Correctional Services, Defence, Environmental Affairs, Health, Police, Rural Development & Land Reform, Transport and Water Affairs; and exactly how much was spent by these departments on each consultant in particular.
In the Western Cape government, the appointment of consultants is an open and transparent process. The names of all consultants and service providers are publicly available.
We need to have a capacitated public service that uses consultants prudently and transparently. Appointing politically connected individuals as consultants and service providers destroys the capacity of the state to deliver.
Public Service and Administration Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, has stated that resources spent on consultants should be channelled towards training public servants to deliver services instead of hiring consultants to do the same work government officials are appointed for. It is therefore ironic that the Department of Defence was one of the biggest spenders on consultants under her watch.
While consultants can play a valuable role in the way in which departments, ministries and governments are run, it must be ensured, at all times, that their appointments are carefully scrutinised and that they are fit for purpose.
Kobus Marais, Shadow Minister of Public Service and Administration