Katleho Morapela
1 minute read
10 Nov 2018
6:20 am

Samwu threatens legal action over municipal bosses’ pay hikes

Katleho Morapela

City managers will now be paid R3.9 million a year and those reporting to them R3 million, while municipalities are drowning in debt.

South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) members during a march. Picture: Gallo Images

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) said it is considering taking legal action against the salary increases of municipal managers across the country.

The city managers will now be paid R3.9 million a year, while those reporting to them will receive R3 million annually, as gazetted on Thursday.

Samwu demands that the money should rather be redirected towards the remuneration of municipal workers and provision of service delivery. I

ts disapproval of the increases comes just days after Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize, during his address at the Free State Local Government summit in Bloemfontein, confirmed that the majority of municipalities in the country were in financial despair and do not generate revenue.

Municipalities owe more than R23 billion to service providers, which mainly include Eskom and water boards.

Those in the Free State alone have to cough up more than R7.8 billion in electricity bills to Eskom, making it the province with the highest amount owed by municipalities.

The union further says it is shameful that the increases were gazetted in the same week that the expanded public works programme workers’ salaries were increased by a mere R4.31 per day.

Following Mkhize’s acknowledgement of the auditor-general’s report that lists 113 municipalities in need of urgent intervention, questions are mounting as to whether his department will be able to help bring stability to these municipalities amidst the city managers’ inflated salaries.

Social media users have asked why the department and National Treasury say municipalities should be focusing on service delivery and attracting investment, yet make room for these increments.

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