Sick, incapacity leaves cost South Africa more than R14 billion since March 2020: Dlodlo

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Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo says 881 152 employees have used normal sick leave and incapacity leave since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020.

The Department says this has cost the Public Service R14 346 032 476 for 19 months from March the 28th 2020 to October 31st 2021.

Breakdown of figures at national and provincial government:

Dlodlo was responding in a written reply to a Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary question. The figures she has provided include provincial and national government departments but it excludes State Security and Defence.

DA MP Mimmy Gondwe, who asked the question, says it’s also puzzling that most public servants were expected to work remotely during the financial period in question.

Gondwe says public servants are entitled to sick and incapacity leave but the figures are alarming.

“In fact, the response indicates that it cost the South African taxpayer R14.3 billion. Now there are an estimated 1.3 million public servants and if you are now talking about now over 800 000, having taken sick or incapacity leave during the financial year concerned. That means that during that financial year almost 70% of our public servants were not at work. Moreover, according to the information provided by the Minister in her written response, the figures she provides exclude the sick and incapacity leave taken by employees of the Departments of Defence and State Security, which invariably means that the estimated costs and the number of employees could be higher if we took into account the leave taken by the Departments of Defence and State Security,” says Gondwe.

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