Lindiwe Sisulu’s proposed advisory team could cost taxpayers R9.2m – report

Image credit: Twitter/Dept of Water and Sanitation

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is reportedly considering appointing a Ministerial Advisory Committee on Water Services whose members will earn a projected total of R9.2 million per annum.

This is according to a City Press report published on Thursday. The report claimed the proposed members include Sisulu’s “political associate” Mphumzi Mdekazi, who could earn R1.7 million, and ex-Kaizer Chiefs spin doctor Putco Mafani (R1.7 million).

Others reportedly include Clifford Derrick (R1.7 million) and Patrick Ritshuri (R1.7 million). Former Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti is reportedly the proposed chairperson of the committee at a salary of R2.4 million per annum.

DA slams proposed appointments

In a statement on Thursday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) slammed the proposed appointments, particularly of Nkwinti, whom it described as “disgraced.”

It said, “Last year, the Office of the Public Protector found that Nkwinti had violated both the Executive Ethics Code and the Constitution. 

“This after the DA lodged a complaint alleging that Nkwinti had influenced his department to buy Bekendvlei Farm in 2011 for R97 million and subsequently allocate it to his friend and colleague, Errol Velile Present.”

The party claimed the committee’s members will work part-time, a maximum of 15 days per month, for the alleged exorbitant salaries.

Sisulu ’empowered to appoint committee’

In response to the City Press report, Sisulu’s department’s spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the Minister had not yet approved the appointment of the proposed committee.

Ratau said Sisulu is “empowered by legislation to appoint such an advisory committee” given the “massive” water and sanitation challenges in South Africa.

In its statement, the DA said, “The DA will once again write to the Public Service Commission imploring them to investigate and we will proceed to mobilise South Africans to publicly oppose these appointments.”

Last year, Sisulu faced criticism for appointing alleged political allies to the National Rapid Response Task Team (NRRTT), which the DA has claimed costs taxpayers R13.9 million per year.

Her department’s appointment of former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini as interim chairperson of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority board also sparked controversy.

Other controversial appointments in Sisulu’s department include former intelligence boss Moe Shaik and former National Director of Public Prosecutions Menzi Simelane, who reportedly hold advisory roles.

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