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The payment of performance bonuses to senior management at the Road Accident Fund (RAF) came under scrutiny when the entity presented its annual performance plan before the Portfolio Committee on Transport today.

Committee member, Mr Chris Humsinger, said he failed to see any justification that warranted the payout of bonuses if targets were set so low as 60%.

“How do you justify paying performance bonus for 60% achievements? Where did you get the money to pay these bonuses, R200 million for bonuses is ridiculous. How does that work in light of saying in your annual report that you seek to achieve high performance standards?

The Chairperson of the committee, Ms Dikeledi Magadzi, concurred and said she too did not see justification for the payment of the performance bonuses.

The RAF came to present its annual report which is unqualified with findings. Board Chair, Dr Mathebula, said the entity has not regressed and this is the matter they were clearing with the office of the Auditor-General (AG).

Members sought clarity on various issues including assets of the entity, the chairs that were reported to be leased for as much as R1 066 a chair per month. This allegation was clarified that the contract stipulated R66 a chair per month. Clarity was also sought on the appointment of the boards, fuel levy, split of the payment between accident victims and the other stakeholders involved in the claims process.

Ms Magadzi said failure to plan will always result in regression and that checks and balances will always be found wanting. “The AG indicated that there are challenges of employment of persons without the proper skills. RAF needs to beef up and make sure appointments are made in line with proper qualifications. Irregular expenditure is massive and yet consequence management only refers to verbal warnings.”

“It will be enticing if your stories would be able to catch the poorest and needy persons in the rural heartlands. You need to nip fraudulent transactions and strengthen the risk and audit units,” Ms Magadzi said.

She said R337 million in irregular expenditure is not equal to verbal warnings and counselling of the wrongdoers. “Regression has to stop, and it stops here and now,” she said. The committee will later hear from the Road Traffic Infringement Agency.

By Sibongile Maputi
11 October 2018