Staff petition minister Ayanda Dlodlo to investigate public service DG Yoliswa Makhasi

05 October 2021 - 14:34
Public service and administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo has been asked to investigate allegations against the department's director-general. File photo.
Public service and administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo has been asked to investigate allegations against the department's director-general. File photo.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

While the government was telling public servants it could not afford to increase their wages last year, public service director-general (DG) Yoliswa Makhasi was pushing for her own salary increment from the same public purse.

This is one of the allegations department of public service and administration (DPSA) staff want new minister Ayanda Dlodlo to investigate.

TimesLIVE has seen the document allegedly drafted by DPSA staff which raises allegations against Makhasi, including that she allegedly flouted public service regulations by appointing staff to her office. She was also accused of nepotism, bullying, unfairly suspending officials and doing business with the state.

Dlodlo confirmed she had received the document with accusations of maladministration against the administrative boss.

“Allegations in the document made against the DG and other officials in the department will be investigated by the authority empowered to do so to determine the veracity and/or extent of the allegations made,” she said.

“This is done to afford all the involved parties an opportunity to respond and make sure the process is dealt with in a fair manner.”

Until that process is completed, the minister is unable to deal with the merits of the case through the media, she said.

It is not clear which authority will investigate the allegations as Dlodlo said this is yet to be determined.

We are supposed to be the custodians of good governance, but something is rotten in the state of the DPSA,” reads the document.

Among the allegations against Makhasi are that the department “has collapsed since her arrival due to her [alleged] lawlessness, which is supported by her administration branch”.

The petition alleged she is an active director of a company that does business with the state.

In the document, it is claimed Makhasi created a new unit in her office which cost R35m and in which officials are duplicating programmes already done by branches of deputy directors-general tasked with the implementation of the  programmes. They suggested the unit was not in line with the National Treasury’s budgeting structure.

They also accused her of flouting regulations in appointing staff to her office and of nepotism.

Dlodlo said she had no knowledge of the letter Makhasi allegedly wrote to her predecessor, Senzo Mchunu, asking for a salary increment, and said such a request has not been made to her.

TimesLIVE has seen the letter with Makhasi's signature dated March 10 2020 requesting a notch upgrade for the DPSA director-general.

In it, she requested Mchunu to reconsider the offer she was being made, and to upgrade her to another notch.

“As per my response in acceptance of the director-general: DPSA position, I hereby request minister to reconsider the current offer on the table (entry notch at R1,978,533) and upgrade to notch at least 5 of level 16 — R2,099,955.”

This, she said, was informed by the fact that when she was appointed head of department at community safety in Gauteng, it was done at level 16 entry notch in January 2016, and had not progressed since.

Another reason she needed an increase was for her to enrol her children at boarding school so she could be in a better position to navigate her responsibilities in the department. She said the notch upgrade would assist significantly in ensuring “I'm able to afford this new financial commitment and perform my duties without having to be daily involved in the children’s schooling and supervision”.

Makhasi would not be drawn into commenting about the allegations against her.

“I have no comment to give at this stage. Furthermore, please note I have seen this libelous and defamatory document circulating, presented by yourself as a petition by staff at DPSA, and I reserve my rights,” she said on Friday.

“I am aware minister Dlodlo is handling the matter.”