Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has a ministerial staff complement of 20 officials, six of whom were inherited from his predecessor, Pravin Gordhan.
MPs on Parliament's standing committee on finance have requested a formal written response from the ministry after a recent report in Business Day saying that Gigaba brought 22 new officials into the ministry.
Treasury sent a written answer to HuffPost SA last week giving some detail on Gigaba's staff. This includes 20 officials, which, according to Treasury, is three more than Gordhan's ministry. The department also denied that is had exceeded the prescripts of the ministerial handbook.
Gigaba, therefore, brought 13 officials from outside Treasury into the ministry.
Only one out of the 20 officials in the ministry, however, has an economic qualification. From Treasury's answer, it seems that this one official -- whose name was not provided -- is the only person that deals with economic policy. "The majority of the other positions are administrative. Some of the staff members are qualified in commerce and other disciplines," according to Treasury.
HuffPost earlier reported about rising tensions between senior and experienced officials and the ministry, with some feeling sidelined by the minister amid challenging economic conditions.
During a meeting on Wednesday between MPs and Treasury, Derek Hanekom (ANC) questioned Gigaba's staffing of the ministry, saying that the ministerial handbook limited the number of staff at 12. "We have read that the number of people appointed in the ministry has exceeded the number in the handbook," he said according to News24.