Legalised Corruption

It looks like government has gone for the legal way of corruption.  On Friday I saw this article in The Star,  ‘Joburg Roads CEO get R767 000 performance bonus’.  (Do you think I could find a link to the article online?)

But hang on here, this cannot be, how can he get such a big performance bonus?  Utter bullshit male bovine excrement.

Taking a step back here, lets see how a performance bonus works in the private sector.

Normally, you and your manager, or in the case of a CEO, you and the board set your objectives for the year.  Then you get measured on these, most of the time on a 5 point scale, 1 meaning that you missed the boat completely, and you’re on your way out the door if you don’t pull up your socks in the next few months, and 5 meaning that you exceeded expectations on every one of the goals that we set.  And in the middle, 3 means that you’re doing a good job.

Added to that is the performance of the company, so if the company doesn’t perform, you don’t get a bonus, or you get a small one, no matter how well you perform.

Individual Performance

Now, the way that you get measured differs from one company to the next, but most places I’ve worked at least part of the measurement came from a 360 review, meaning that everyone around you gives some feedback on your perceived performance from their point of view.  If this is the way that our public servants get measured (and IMHO, it should be) then I should have had input in the JRA CEO’s performance review.

Back to the article.  In the article they mention that they measured him on percentage of potholes fixed within 3 days, which came in at a staggering 86%.  Not sure where in Joburg they measured, because the roads I frequent never got service like that.  But that measurement is flawed, because if you measure him on potholes fixed, then he’s failed already.

If our roads got the maintenance they need, then the chances of potholes forming in the first place  are limited.  But the maintenance, meaning resurfacing and repainting doesn’t happen, or at least it doesn’t happen on the large number of roads that I frequent.  Being a cyclist, I think I see more roads than most people, and I also see the state they’re in, because I travel at a lower speed, and have a better viewing angle from the bike.

So my input on the CEO’s performance comes in at a 1, at a push, maybe a 2.  In my books, that does not get a bonus, and if my staff come in with those measurements, they don’t even get an increase.

Company Performance

Ok, so here you cannot measure the same as in the private sector, because a government department is not profit or turnover driven, or at least it shouldn’t be, but this is questionable in South Africa.

So the way I’ll measure the company is to see whether they are getting done what they are employed to do.  Every government department is there to serve the people, in different ways.  The City of Johannesburg, is there to provide services to keep the city going.

Are they performing well?

Ignoring the department of the individual in question here, let’s name a few other examples.

  • Billing is a disaster, and they admit it.
  • Metro cops aren’t enforcing any laws, except the ones that make easy money (you shouldn’t be profit driven, remember)
  • Electricity sub-stations are being maintained, so they burn down (then new ones have to be built, much higher cost)
  • Long term planning is not being done, or not being done properly (The sheer amount of roadworks required now shows this)
  • Public transport is a shambles, instead of fixing metro bus, they bring out a new service, covering very little of the city (once again, at a much higher cost)

I could go on, but you get the picture.  So overall, the company in question is not performing like it should, and therefore no-one should be getting bonuses.

That leaves me with the only possible conclusion, that the bonus is legalised corruption, and they’re skimming as much as they can before the city goes bankrupt.

What do you think?

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