Siyamtanda Capa
3 minute read
16 Apr 2021
06:27

Msunduzi staff face disciplinary action for private use of municipal cars

Siyamtanda Capa

Msunduzi municipal staff who are found guilty of abusing the City’s fleet of vehicles will be disciplined and could be dismissed..

Msunduzi municipal staff who are found guilty of abusing the City’s fleet of vehicles will be disciplined and could be dismissed. 

Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla said several staff members are currently going through the Msunduzi Municipality’s disciplinary process for abusing municipal vehicles. 

A report presented to the finance committee on Wednesday detailed how municipal employees were abusing the fleet with the geographical tracking system picking up on cars parked at malls, hospitals and schools across Pie­termaritzburg.  

The report also lists the distances travelled by municipal vehicles after hours and on weekends during the months of January and February. According to the report, one vehicle had visited Liberty Mall and Grey’s Hospital as late as 10 pm. Another vehicle was captured by the tracker at Athlone primary school.

Thebolla said several disciplinary cases had been instituted against staff. “There are things that can be justified like popping into a mall to buy lunch, but you can’t use a municipal vehicle to buy your groceries,” said Thebolla.

Thebolla was of the view that the abuse of vehicles had decreased since the installation of the geotrackers.

“What will ultimately happen to people who abuse the cars depends on the gravity of the offence, but it may lead to dismissal while the council will also try to recover any losses,” said Thebolla. “We are hoping it will be an example to others as the intention is to make sure that we stop the abuse of public resources for personal use,” said Thebolla.

“Employees are abusing our fleet due to a lack of management and enforcement of our policies.”
DA councillor Ross Strachan

DA councillor Ross Strachan said the failure to manage the municipality’s  fleet was one of the City’s “fundamental crippling factors”.

“This Municipality has to suffer day in and day out without any substantial efforts to fix the problems.

“Employees are abusing our fleet due to a lack of management and enforcement of our policies,” said Strachan. 

He said the municipality’s assets were depreciating at a rapid rate.  

“The hiring of equipment is more expensive, and is costing this Municipality dearly, especially in our very sensitive financial situation. But we are forced to do this due to the poor fleet and asset management,” said Strachan. 

Strachan added that the municipality needed to enforce its own policies.

READ | Msunduzi’s vehicle workshop ‘a car crash’

“We cannot be dictated to by our employees due to political interference,” said Strachan.

Al Jam-Ah councillor, Salim Goga said the abuse of municipal vehicles exacerbated the plight of the poor.

“Employees are paid a fair salary and with perks, in many instances, receive packages above market related remuneration. Thus it is unfair for staff to use public assets for personal use which are funded by people who are living a life of poverty,” said Goga.

The councillor added the rules should apply to all municipal staff no matter what position they held.

“Managers and supervisors who are themselves guilty of this abuse must be required to pay back such expenditure.

“Managers and supervisors should also be held responsible and accountable for such abuse by staff under them,” said Goga.