ATC2007: Report of the oversight visit by the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs oversight visit to the Government Printing Works (GPW) head office in Pretoria, Gauteng, dated 17 June 2020
3. REPORT OF THE OVERSIGHT VISIT BY THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HOME AFFAIRS TO THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING WORKS HEAD OFFICE, PRETORIA GAUTENG, DATED 17 JUNE 2020
The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs (the Committee) having conducted an oversight visit to the Government Printing Works (GPW) head office in Pretoria, Gauteng on 21 July 2020, reports as follows:
1.1. The Committee conducted an oversight visit to the GPW in Gauteng, Pretoria on 17 June 2020. The Committee exercises oversight over the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), GPW and the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).
1.2. The oversight visit was conducted due to the submission to the Committee on 13 April 2020 by Mr Ngwambi, who raised serious allegations against the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GPW, Ms A. Fosi, and the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr PA Motsoaledi, MP. Mr Ngwambi requested urgent investigation of the appointment and conduct of the GPW CEO by the Minister of Home Affairs.
1.3. The Committee raised these concerns and inquired on allegations with the Minister of Home Affairs during two Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs meeting held in May 2020. The Minister informed the Committee that he is aware of the allegations and he had referred the matter to the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations (known as the HAWKS) for investigation and he will report to Parliament once the investigations were complete.
1.3. The Minister of Home Affairs presented the PSC Report and findings in relations to the allegations levelled against Ms A. Fosi during the Committee meeting held on 2 June 2020. The PSC report did not find any evidence to suggest wrongdoing by Ms A. Fosi on the initial allegations levelled against her.
1.4. The Committee did not adopt the PSC Report but recognised its legal standing. The Committee further noted other matters have been referred to the HAWKS thus the Committee will only adopt the PSC Report once the HAWKS investigation has been completed.
1.5. The Committee also resolved during the meeting on 2 June 2020 that while it awaits completion of the HAWKS investigation, will be necessary to conduct an oversight visit to the GPW to engage the labour representatives of Public Service (PSA) and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (NEHAWU) to satisfy itself on the allegations levelled against Ms A. Fosi.
2.DELEGATION OF THE COMMITTEE AND ATTENDENTS
2.1. It must be noted that Members of the Committee from the Democratic Alliance (DA) have recused themselves for the oversight visit. Their correspondence on the matter is attached.
2.2. Committee Members:
- Hon. B.Bongo (Chairperson/ANC).
- Hon. M. Chabane (ANC)
- Hon. T. Legwase (ANC)
- Hon. A. Molekwa (ANC)
- Hon. Lerato Tito (EFF)
- Hon. Mr T. Lekota (COPE)
2.3. Mr Pakamile Hlungwani (Parliamentary Support Staff/ Research Unit)
2.4. Department of Home Affairs
- Dr A. Motsoaledi
- Mr S. Qoza
- Mr Mongomarele
- Mr M.F. Makua (Cabinet Liaison Officer)
- Mr M. Njoko (Director: Integrated Governance)
2.5. Government Printing Works
- Ms A. Fosi (Acting CEO)
- Mr B.Baboojee (Acting Chief Financial Officer)
- Ms M. Modise (General Manager: Human Resources)
2.6. Labour Representatives
- Mr P.J. Mojanago (PSA Branch Chairperson at GPW).
- Mr J. Mashigo (PSA National Office)
- Mr B. Mungedzi (NEHAWU/ GPW)
- Mr A. Mashimbye (NEHAWU/GPW)
3.THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST GPW ACTING CEO AND MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS
3.1. The Public Service Association (PSA)
- Allegations against the Acting CEO, Ms A. Fosi and the Minister of Home Affairs as presented by PSA representatives are similar to the one’s represented by Mr Gwambi in his email to the Committee. Ms Fosi has allegations against her of corruption, mismanagement, victimisation of staff, soliciting bribes, interference in the supply chain, nepotism, and abuse of international travel by misleading the Minster.
- The Minster of Home Affairs has decided to short-list and interview Ms Fosi for the permanent position of the CEO at Government Printing Works. He further alleges that certain members of the public and the private sector are campaigning for the favourable consideration of Ms Fosi’s application, and that this campaign is related to future strategic projects GPW must undertake in the next five years.
- Ms Fosi lacks adequate skills, qualifications and experience necessary for the position of the CEO, and she does not have relevant skills set as per the job advert requirements.
- Ms Fosi will compromise the existence, operations and the future of GPW.
- Ms Fosi has been making unnecessary changes to GPW including bullying of the EXCO members, due to her close proximity to the Minister of Home Affairs.
- Ms Fosi as the acting GPW CEO, has recently organised a strategic workshop in an exotic hotel in Bela-Bela, in order to give business to her closest friends. This workshop was unnecessary and it could have been held in a boardroom or cheaper venue. The workshop was the “epic of corruption, where suppliers were given business without following proper procurement procedures”. The Minister of Home Affairs did not investigate this matter. The workshop costs incurred by GPW were more than R500,000 without any tangible business benefits, expect one document.
- Ms Fosi has mislead the Minister of Home Affairs to approve a business trip to France, where her close friends were booked business class flights, for a workshop which was unnecessary, and people who went to the trip were very irrelevant. The trip was done to favour certain individuals.
- The PSA representatives indicated that efforts and attempts to get the Minister to attend to all the allegations, which were presented to the Minister from February 2020, proved to be futile. He alleged further that he has also written to the Minister of Home Affairs to withdraw Ms Fosi for the permanent appointment of the CEO at GPW. He has also ostensibly informed the Minister of Home Affairs that he is making this submission to the Portfolio Committee as well as the Department of Public Service and Administration through the Minister Mchunu.
- Affairs to adequately address this matter and has now decided to escalate this matter to the Committee for immediate intervention. It is alleged that the Minister of Home Affairs is intending to appoint Ms Fosi, despite the numerous serious allegations against her.
3.2. Presentation by NEHAWU representatives
- NEHAWU representatives disputed allegations made by the PSA representatives against Ms A. Fosi and Minister of Home Affairs. In their view, the PSA is the one causing instability and animosity amongst employees at GPW.
- NEHAWU alleges that PSA Chairperson at GPW, Mr Mojanaga, is angry at the acting CEO because she does not succumb to his threats. The PSA Chairperson at GPW want Ms Fosi to be dismissed and is misusing the Parliamentary process as a fight back strategy against the acting CEO of GPW.
- NEHAWU alleges that PSA is the one threatening employees, including senior managers who do not agree with their stance on any issues. According to NEHAWU representatives, it is the PSA which has disruptive tendencies bordering on hooliganism and lawlessness. For instance, the Chairperson of PSA at GPW has mobilised unknown people who are not employees of GPW to disrupt interviews during the staffing session of Security Personnel during 2019. The Acting CEO of GPW had to call the South African Police Services in order to continue with the interviews.
- NEHAWU representatives alleges that PSA want tenders issued by the GPW to go to the companies favoured by the Chairperson of PSA at GPW.
- NEHAWU representatives agree that GPW senior management should foster good working relationship at GPW and must strive for good governance at all times.
- NEHAWU agree that some disciplinary issues against senior managers, including the alleged assault allegation levelled against the CEO could have been handled better.
4.RESPONSES BY THE ACTING CEO, Ms A. FOSI
The Acting CEO, MS A. Fosi responded to the allegations levelled against her as follows:
- The Acting CEO of GPW disputes all the allegations levelled against her by the Branch Chairperson of PSA at GPW. She dismisses the allegation with the contempt it deserves and deems them to be malicious attempt to prevent her from doing her job and fostering good governance.
- Ms A. Fosi disputes allegations that she does not have relevant academic qualifications and experience to act as CEO of GPW. Ms A. Fosi has a Master’s degree and two post-graduate diplomas. She further has 24 years’ experience in government of which 14 years were senior Management.
- The Minister of Home Affairs and Ms A. Fosi presented proof that the trip to France was an authorised official trip. The trip was approved during the Executive Committee (EXCO) meeting at GPW and was supported by the Minister of Home Affairs. The Acting CEO attended the Security Printing Seminar in France with other two relevant members of the GPW as approved by the Minister following recommendations of the EXCO of GPW.
- The Acting CEO is of a view that the Branch Chairperson of PSA at GPW is disgruntled because she took away power from the unions. Ms Fosi argued that there has been a culture of the labour unions exercising too much power which has nothing to do with labour issues and she will not let the culture continue. The Branch Chairperson of PSA interfered on issues not related to him as a Security Director or labour representative. He concentrates more on union work than the job he has been employed to do at GPW.
- The Bela-Bela Strategic Retreat was an authorised GPW business meeting to draw up its strategic plans. The Acing CEO has not interfered with the procurement process and the investigations conducted by the PSA have not found any wrongdoing from her part.
- The Acting CEO stated that there will be no retaliation against the Branch Chairperson of PSA at GPW for reporting her to the Minister of Home Affairs and Parliament. However, the Minister and Committee should note that she has received correspondence from Private Security Industry Authority (PSIRA) that the Director of Security, who happens to be the Branch Chairperson of PSA at GPW, had his certification withdrawn for none compliance therefore, he cannot continue to work in in his current capacity as he does not comply with the requirements of the PSIRA Act.
5.COMMENTS AND RESPONSE BY THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS
5.1. The Minister of Home Affairs stated that he accepts the PSC findings. The Minister encourages anyone who disputes the PSC Report on the allegations levelled against the Acting CEO of GPW to challenge it thought duly empowered institutions.
5.2. The Minister has confirmed that the Acting CEO has the required qualification and experience to act or be appointed at her current acting position should she become the best candidate following the outcome of the interviews to fill in the post of CEO at GPW. The process to appoint the permanent CEO is underway and the appointment will be done once all processes have been concluded and approved by Cabinet.
5.3. The Minister confirmed that he has authorised the Security Printing Seminar in France attended by Ms A. Fosi and her two colleagues at GPW. The Minister had satisfied himself that the trip was in line with GPW business and the relevant delegation was authorised to attend the seminar.
5.4. The Minister informed the Committee that there are Curriculum Vitae’s which were stolen from GPW. He has reported the matter to SAPS for investigation.
5.5. The Minister informed the Committee that the Acting CEO is being threatened at GPW and the tyres of her car were slashed. He indicated that the matter was also reported to SAPS and he further requested protection for the Acting CEO of GPW.
5.6. The Minister disputes that he has a personal and business relationship with Ms A. Fosi as alleged by Mr Gwabi and the PSA representatives. The Minister confirms that the only relations he has with Ms A. Fosi is that of the Minister and the CEO of the entity under his department, the same way he has cordial relations with other senior officials under his Ministry, DHA and entities.
6.RESPONSES AND RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
6.1. Committee Members thanked the Minister, Acting CEO of GPW and labour union representatives from PSA and NEHAWU for their time and presentations.
6.2. The Committee accept that even though it has not yet adopted the PSC report, it recognises its legal standing. The Committee has resolved that the PSC report will be adopted/ or not adopted once the HAWKS investigation is completed as agreed during the Committee Meeting on 2 June 2020.
6.3. The Committee noted that the PSA disputed the PSC Report, however, unless it has been challenged through a duly authorised body, the PSC Report remains and its legal standing is confirmed.
6.4. The Committee notes with concern that PSA, and in particular the Branch Chairperson of PSA at GPW is abusing the Parliamentary process to settle personal scores with the Acting CEO of GPW.
6.5. The Committee encouraged the Acting CEO to continue conducting her duties without fear or favour within the prescripts of the law. The CEO is also encouraged to foster cordial relationship amongst the senior managers, labour representatives and GPW employees in general.
6.6. The Committee has noted that GPW performance has improved under the stewardship of the current Acting CEO and commended her and her team for the good work. The Committee further notes the Auditor General findings of 2017/18 financial year are being attended to.
6.7. The Committee advised the Minister to ensure that the PSIRA directives regarding security officials who are not compliant would be implemented without further delay. The Committee expect a report from the Minister of Home Affairs on the actions taken during the next Committee meeting on the date to be communicated.
6.8. The Committee notes that a police investigation is underway regarding the missing Curriculum Vitae’s (CV’s) of advertised posts which were supposed to have been filled. However, the Minister of Home Affairs should hold the Acting CEO accountable for the missing CV’s. The Committee expect a report from the Acting CEO on the actions taken against those responsible for safeguarding the CV’s.
6.9. The Committee noted the practice of senior managers who are also shop stewards. Even though there is no law preventing such practice, the Committee discourage it because of potential conflict of interests.
6.10. The Committee informed the GPW employees that they can make further written representations to the Committee should they need to do so.
6.11. The Committee noted that GPW has an excess of R2 billion earmarked for the construction of the new Headquarters. GPW has not been able to proceed with the construction of the new HQ because the Department of Public Works (DPW) was not able to complete the tender process. The Committee has supported the decision by the Minister of Home Affairs to issue the construction tender on their own, but should also appoint relevant professionals to project manage the construction. The CEO of GPW should present plans to the Committee on how they are going to proceed on the matter.
Report to be considered