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By Itumeleng Mafisa

Digital Journalist

Suspended petrol attendant in Emfuleni makes over R1m while sitting at home

The municipality has spent around R20m on paying workers on suspension over the last four years

The Emfuleni Local Municipality has paid more than R1 million to a suspended petrol attendant over the last four years.

At least 19 workers paid while at home   

According to documents seen by The Citizen the petrol attendant was suspended in 2020 for reasons which are not yet clear. But the municipality has spent approximately R1 120 554.20.

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The documents also show that the municipality had also suspended a driver in 2020 and the matter had been unresolved, the driver has been paid more than a million to date.

On the list of people that had been suspended by the municipality over the last four years were clerks, general workers, team leaders, officer managers and a driver of a tipper truck. In total, the municipality had spent more than R20m paying employees who were on suspension.

The documents also reveal that an employee suspended for four years and 8 months has been paid R3 494 120, while another employee has earned R2 272 283.71 sitting at home for the same duration.

DA MPL Kingsol Chabalala expressed shock at the amount of money wasted on employees who were at home but still getting paid at the end of each month.

“This disclosure effectively reveals the shortcomings of the disciplinary management systems in Emfuleni. While the labour laws guarantee fair disciplinary hearings, the inability to resolve the 19 cases dating back to 2019 is unacceptable and demonstrates an incapable system that needs reform,” Chabalala said.

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Chabalala said prolonged suspensions hinder the provision of service delivery. He said the municipality must take on the added responsibilities of a suspended employee while increasing the workload.

“Moreover, the money spent paying suspended officials could be directed towards employees actively contributing to ensuring that the struggling municipality delivers services promptly and effectively. It is unjustifiable to expect ratepayers to foot the bill for suspended municipal officials, especially during such difficult economic times,” he said.

Chabalala said residents should not take the costs of suspended workers lightly. He called on Emfuleni residents to use the upcoming elections to vote for competent leaders.

“A DA government will eradicate the pay-for-doing-nothing mindset that has been normalised in our municipalities. Investigations and hearings for disciplinary cases will be conducted promptly after the alleged misconduct or the employer’s knowledge of it,” he said.

The Citizen has reached out to the Emfuleni Local Municipality for comment. This article will be updated as soon as comment is received.