The minister was responding to questions in the National Assembly on Thursday as part of the governance cluster.
FILE: Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu. Picture: GCIS
CAPE TOWN – Government has failed to conduct lifestyle audits on Cabinet members more than two years after saying that it would.
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu on Thursday took heat from MPs for the delay.
The minister was responding to questions in the National Assembly as part of the governance cluster.
In 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that everyone in his Cabinet, including himself, would undergo lifestyle audits, with the possibility of rolling the system out across all spheres of government in the future.
However, Mthembu said that this had still not happened due to consultations on the framework on how they would be conducted.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) PM Natasha Ntlangwini quizzed Mthembu about the president’s own interests.
“Do you think it’s possible for ministers and other leaders of ANC to open [up] about the source of their wealth if their own president has used the courts to hide those that have funded his campaign to become [ANC] president,” Ntlangwini said.
Mthembu said the process should be completed by early next year.
“The end of this financial year is March as I’ve already indicated to Honourable [Solly] Malatsi. Minister [of Public Service and Administration Senzo] Mchunu will be concluding lifestyle audits as it relates to members of the administration, the entire administration, by March 2021,” he said.
He also told members that the African National Congress (ANC) had resolved at its last conference to conduct lifestyle audits on all members in office.
CABINET PERFORMANCE AGREEMENTS
At the same time, Ramaphosa has failed to sign and publish performance agreements for members of his Cabinet more than a year after he said that he would.
Mthembu told MPs that the president had failed to do so because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minister admitted twice that Ramaphosa had failed to implement lifestyle audits and performance agreements of his ministers.
He said that the change of functions of departments due to COVID-19 was one of the reasons for the delay.
“In light of the supplementary budget and COVID-related functions, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation requested departments to submit revised APPs and this was used to develop new ministerial performance agreements,” Mthembu said.
Mthembu said that Ramaphosa would complete the signing process on Friday.
“The president has indeed commenced with the signing of performance agreements and we started this on 16 October, and we are finalising the signing of the performance agreements with the president tomorrow,” he said.