The Gauteng department of community safety could be liable for up to R93.5 million claims for labour disputes and various lawsuits.

According to the DA’s Michael Shackleton, “this was revealed in the department’s annual report and noted by the Auditor-General (AG) for the 2019-20 financial year”.

Shackleton said the department should have initiated better mechanisms to settle labour disputes and avoid lawsuits.

He said his party would be writing to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to ascertain how much has been spent so far on legal fees defending labour disputes and lawsuits, also how much has been paid for cases that have been lost.

“The DA calls on Gauteng community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko to investigate the reasons why the department is having labour disputes and lawsuits amounting to R93.5 million. The MEC should implement other methods as part of her interventions to curb labour disputes and lawsuits,” Shackleton said.

“We understand there are situations between the employer and the employees that might result in a legal battle. However, considering that this department is failing on its core mandate, it should have initiated a better way to settle labour disputes and avoid lawsuits.”

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Shackleton said the AG’s report said the department also incurred material impairments of R383.8 million as a result of the impairment of accrued departmental revenue.

He said the department wrote off or reversed accrued departmental revenue amounting to R10.1 million.

“There are also movable tangible capital assets of R3 335 000 that are under investigation, which includes machinery and equipment that could not be located during the asset verification process. This clearly indicates there is no adequate or regular monitoring of the department’s assets register.”

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