Trade unions say they are poised to "go to war" with Cape Town mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo over shocking "gravy train" salary increases for her top managers.
Her "All Black" team of executive directors are earning packages of between R900 000 and R1,3-million a year.
The nine-member executive director group, known officially as the Ikhwezi (morning star) team but dubbed unofficially the "All Blacks" by purged staff, sees seven of the posts being filled by Nguni-speaking black people.
This move has been called "reverse racism" by Mfeketo's own African National Congress caucus.
Another question being asked by Mfeketo's ANC "comrades" is just how much city manager Wallace Mgoqi is taking home in the revised salary structure.
He declined to comment on the new salary structures, or to divulge his salary, but it is thought to be on a par with that of President Thabo Mbeki, who earned R960 000 last year, excluding perks.
However, the new top management appointments come at a time of brewing controversy over the city's jobs-restructuring Validation and Review team.
This team of consultants was appointed at private sector rates of between R1 500 to R2 500 an hour on a full-time basis for at least six months - a minimum of R1,4-million.
Anger over the City of Cape Town's staff restructuring process is also reaching boiling point over the sidelining of loyal staff.
Senior staff members allege they are being "treated like dogs", after being told casually, sometimes by email, rumour and innuendo, that they must vacate their offices to accommodate the city's new top team.
Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich described the new city salaries as "scandalous" and vowed that the unions would go to war with the city.
"How do people justify earning more than President Thabo Mbeki?" he fumed on Monday.
"We welcome the transformation of the staff and hopefully of the focus of the council."
"However, we are extremely concerned that, if anything, we are increasing the apartheid wage gap - the gap between management and the general categories of employees who are the people who actually do the work in the administration."
He said the "huge salaries" appeared to be just part of "the broader process of enrichment and building a black elite at the cost of black working class families".
He said if self-enrichment was the city management team's main priority, then "we are really concerned about where we are going in the city and the country".