Emfuleni local municipality billed almost R200K for travel expenses
Johannesburg - One of the senior officials at the Emfuleni local municipality - who submitted travel claims of almost R200000 in less than four years in the job - is a political appointee serving in the office of the mayor.
Unlike other employees occupying senior and lower positions in the municipality, the Emfuleni municipality did not have to do a reference check on Richard Chaka due to his appointment in the office of the mayor.
This was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile, in written replies to questions by the DA’s Kingsol Chabalala.
Chabalala - who heads the DA’s Gauteng Legislature unit in Emfuleni - had asked Maile about the employment history of Chaka in the municipality, including his academic qualifications, job designation and experience.
In his reply, Maile said Chaka took up employment with the municipality on July 1, 2016, saying his job entailed doing “dual reporting to the communications department and the office of the executive mayor”.
“His scope of work includes but is not limited to the identification of service delivery gaps, profiling the municipality on the social media platforms, interacting with service delivery departments, interacting with internal and external stakeholders, profiling the executive mayor and various municipal projects,” Maile said.
He said Chaka’s highest qualification “is a matric certificate”.
“The municipality did not do reference checks before he was employed due to the conditions of the appointment of staff in the political offices. His previous employment references from the bank (name withheld) were appended with his CV,” Maile said.
He made reference to the bank following an earlier question by Chabalala in which he asked Maile whether he was aware that he allegedly left the bank and another financial service provider under dubious circumstances.
In his reply, Maile said: “The allegations are known to the municipality.”
According to Maile, Chaka has submitted travel claims of R197138.51 since his employment.
Yesterday, Chaka confirmed the figure released by Maile, saying he was using his personal car to do municipal work. “The figure can be calculated over just R3000 a month. I use my vehicle. I do not get a travel allowance,” Chaka said.
Municipal spokesperson Makhosonke Sangweni confirmed that Chaka was one of the officials who billed the municipality with a travel claim.
“Mr Chaka is a Level 6 employee. He does not qualify for a car allowance. He is using his own vehicle due to the shortage of vehicles at the municipality. He is therefore allowed to claim for using his own vehicle,” Sangweni said.