The department’s salary bill eats up 66% of its budget — yet 20% of posts are empty, largely due to potential employees losing patience with the slow processing of applications

The Free State health department’s steadily increasing salary bill is crowding out spending on goods and services, Parliament heard on Wednesday. This means there is less money available to hire more personnel, medicines and equipment, and highlights one of the pressures the national government has faced in negotiating its next three-year wage deal with civil servants.

“In spite of a Treasury instruction for the cost of employment to be reduced by 0.05% in 2016-17, it increased from 63% [of the budget] in 2011-12 to 66% in 2017-18. The vacancy rate, however, remains high,” Free State head of health David Motau told Parliament’s health portfolio committee…..more