By Thabo Monyela
TZANEEN- The recent report commissioned by the Greater Tzaneen municipal executive management, reveals that the municipality has been involved in a dubious excessive staff overtime expenditure of R211 million from 2013.
The report shows that the municipality has for the past 7 years been exempting itself from the terms of employment act, chapter 2 section 10, which states that no employee is allowed to work more than 3 hours a day and more than 10 hours in a week.
The leaked report has it that in 2013/14 financial year, municipal officials earned R23,5 million and in 2020/21, there was a massive increase of 40% in officials’ wages making it R34.3 million.
At least 60% of the municipal employees have been receiving overtime every month, while between 47 and 253 officials have been claiming more than 40 hours for overtime every month for the past seven years.
The report reveals municipal employees in the Solid Waste Management Division as the biggest beneficiaries of the overtime reward, which have accumulated R7.4 million for the 2021/22 financial calendar.
The Mopani DA political head of constituency and MP Solly Malatsi, accuses the municipality of abusing the overtime reward system, citing that one employee claimed a total of R88 634.16 from 194 overtime hours in November 2021.
” It is very clear from the excessive millions spent annually between 2013 and 2021 that municipal officials have been abusing the overtime reward system without any intervention from the different ANC mayors in charge” MP Malatsi said.
The EFF municipal party leader Clifford Letsoalo said the report is a clear indication that the ANC-led municipality has no interest in service delivery.
” This report shows how incompetent and uncaring this municipality is to our communities, how can you spend so much millions on overtimes when majority of people in Tzaneen have no access to road, clean water and unemployment” Cllr Letsoalo said.
The municipal spokesperson Neville Ndlala defended the municipality, citing staff shortage and increased responsibilities when some officials are on leave as an obvious cause of the overtimes.
He further stated that the nature of municipal work requires them to work overtime regularly, however he conceded that the amount to employees for overtime is excessive and cannot be justified.
“The Executive management has put in place several measures to curb the excessive overtime expenditure such as all planned overtime work for payment must be pre-approved by MM a week in advance and municipal vehicles will be installed with tracking devices to monitor the movement of employees” Ndlala said.