DTPS spends big bucks on high-level salaries

It takes many millions to pay the telecoms ministry's staffing bill.
It takes many millions to pay the telecoms ministry's staffing bill.

The director-general (DG) of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS), Robert Nkuna, received a remuneration package of almost R1.7 million per annum in 2016 for his post.

This is according to the department's parliamentary reply to Marian Shinn, Democratic Alliance MP and telecoms and postal services shadow minister, detailing the payment packages of the DG and deputy director-generals (DDGs).

In 2017, Nkuna's salary increased to almost R1.8 million following the annual cost of living adjustment, according to the department's reply.

While he was appointed on 21 March 2016, Nkuna's role commenced on 21 November 2016 and he is expected to be with the DTPS until the end of his employment contract in November 2021.

Nkuna's 2016 appointment marked a significant step for the telecoms ministry's leadership complement following an exodus of high-profile officials during the formative years. Minister Siyabonga Cwele previously labelled the department's management affairs as the reason for the paralysis in its ability to execute its functions timeously.

The department's leadership upheavals were blamed on its former DG, Rosey Sekese.

At the time, officials said Sekese was solely to blame for the exodus of senior staff members and the serious leadership crisis affecting the DTPS. According to them, the former DG wreaked havoc in the department, firing anyone who opposed her. During Sekese's tenure, three DGGs left the department as a result of either being fired or resigning.

Robert Nkuna was appointed as DTPS director-general in 2016.
Robert Nkuna was appointed as DTPS director-general in 2016.

After the former DG was dismissed from her post, the department not only appointed Nkuna but also sought to fill the vacant DDG posts.

While the post of DDG for ICT infrastructure support has remained occupied since 2014, the telecoms ministry completed the recruitment process of a DDG for state-owned entity (SOE) oversight and ICT enterprise development, DDG for administration and DDG for ICT international affairs and trade between 2016 and 2017.

Thathakahle Jordan-Dyani took up the role of DDG for ICT international affairs and trade in August last year. The department's reply noted Jordan-Dyani's remuneration package at almost R1.3 million per annum.

When Tinyiko Ngobeni was deployed to the post of DDG for ICT infrastructure support in 2014, the all-inclusive remuneration package for this position was R1.13 million per annum. Over the years, the salary for this post has increased as a result of the annual cost of living adjustment. For the 2017 financial year, Ngobeni was paid R1.41 million per annum.

The remuneration package of the DDG for SOE oversight and ICT enterprise development was almost R1.3 million in 2016 and increased to almost R1.4 million the next year, also the result of the annual cost of living adjustment.

The payment package of the DDG for administration reached almost R1.4 million per annum in 2017. When the DDG for administration took up the post in 2016, the remuneration package was almost R1.3 million per annum.

At last check, the telecoms department was still looking to employ a DDG for ICT policy development, DDG for information society development and research, as well as a DDG for the E-skills Institute.

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