File picture: Matthews Baloyi/Independent Media
Johannesburg – The City of Johannesburg has dismissed as baseless the allegations that the chief of staff at the mayor's office, Micheal Beaumont, allegedly increased his salary irregularly by R500 000.

This comes after the African National Congress (ANC) in Joburg region accused Beaumont of instructing administrators in human resources to allegedly increase his salary irregularly, against an approved structure from R1,3 million to R1,8 million.

Spokesperson for ANC greater Joburg region, Jolidee Matongo, said in a statement such a decision appeared to be a "flagrant abuse of power and state resources".

Matongo questioned how Beaumont could have given himself a salary increase of about half a million rand when salary increases for all employees were due in July, also saying that the increase was not linked to his performance since he's been in office for less than a year.

But Luyanda Mfeka, the spokesman for the office of DA mayor, Herman Mashaba, said Beaumont was not, legally speaking, a Section 56 manager as he does not report to solely to the City manager.

Mfeka said Beaumont's position is a special category of employment due to the dual reporting lines to the mayor and City manager, but is graded and remunerated at an executive director level.

He said historically, in 2014, when the decision was taken to replace the previous chief of staff to former mayor Parks Tau in the position, the position had to be downgraded from a Section 56 post to a reporting line directly to the chief operations officer.

"This decision was taken due to the previous incumbent not having the necessary qualifications as prescribed by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs," he said.

"When the new administration was appointed, the position was rectified and regraded to level 2B using the City's internal accredited system, taking into account certain specialised functions, e.g. the oversight over of offices of the MMC's, the specialised advisory positions as well as the command of the coalition."

Mfeka said subsequently, the executive decision was to restore the position to its full authoritativeness and this was signed off by the City's top authority, including the City manager and the Group head of corporate and shared services at the time.

"At no point was the Michael Beaumont involved in the grading exercise. The claim that was in any way involved in impropriety is libelous against the chief of staff and the Mayor; it has no basis in truth.

"Finally, you will note that the difference between the remuneration of the current Chief of Staff compared to the previous Chief of Staff is R26 376 per annum or R2 198 per month. The previous chief of staff earned R1 814 720 per annum despite not having the necessary qualifications.

Michael Beaumont holds a BA Honours in Political Science and has nine years of managerial experience," Mfeka said.

Mfeka said the ANC's statement unduly harmed the reputation of the parties involved.