The Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality has frozen payments amounting to R2m a month after completing a verification process of its employees.
The metro audited about 20 646 employees and 10 763 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) participants.
MMC for Corporate and Shared Services Kingsley Wakelin says the process aimed to eliminate potential ghost employees and deter future adverse audit findings.
He adds that the strategy demonstrated accountability to residents.
“Tshwane has frozen salary and stipend payments totalling over R2m per month. The verification process took place over two months and required permanent and fixed-term contract employees to present themselves physically with proof of identity.”
Wakelin says the process achieved a 99.8% success rate, verifying 20 602 employees, including those on suspension.
The verification found that:
- Forty-four employees did not present themselves physically for verification
- Three were in hospital
- Seven were on extended sick leave
- One was incarcerated.
Wakelin says a separate verification of EPWP participants took place, confirming 10 763 individuals (95.8%). He adds that 496 EPWP participants could not be verified.
“Once unverified employees and EPWP participants were identified, Tshwane took immediate steps to halt their salary and wage payments and further resolved to terminate their employment and participation in the EPWP.”
Wakelin says that as part of beefing up control measures, the heads of departments will continue to sign off on salary bills each month.
“Tshwane intends to conduct employee and EPWP participant verification on an annual basis. This action confirms our commitment to clean audits and responsible use of the metro’s strained finances,” says Wakelin.
He adds that the metro will continue to uphold good governance.
During the metro’s administrative saga of 2020 [when national government approved the dissolution and administration of the Tshwane council], it embarked on an audit and verification process to weed out so-called ghost employees.
This was according to head administrator Mpho Nawa, who told the media that the metro’s group audit and risk department had flagged some employees suspected of being employed through fraudulent means.
It audited and verified all employees over six days, from August 14 to 9, 2020, to ascertain their exact number.
The process uncovered ghost workers who had been fleecing the people of Tshwane of their hard-earned money by unlawfully, illegally, and fraudulently drawing salaries they did not deserve.
In total, 1 400 bogus employees illegally drawing monthly salaries from the metro were reportedly identified.
Nawa said the metro had informed its employees and union representatives of the process.
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