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R3m tab for travel allowances ‘not all justified’

By Rabbie Serumula Time of article published May 2, 2015

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Johannesburg - The City of Joburg spent almost R3 million on travel allowances for staff, including those who did not qualify.

Legislature management’s inability to resolve the issue has resulted in irregularities, according to DA councillor, Dr Kevin Wax.

“In the recent council meeting various concerns came to light and they showed that there is clear mismanagement of funds and resources.

“In report after report, we wrestle with the same issues in the legislature.”

Wax said legislature admitted in their second quarterly report they paid R2.9m travel allowances to staff, including those who did no qualify.

Legislature’s mismanagement of funds has also affected ward councillors directly through poorly executed rental agreements.

“As part of the legislature’s oversight committee we visited some of our councillors’ offices last year where we were denied access to one office in Region A because of a lockout by the landlord.” He said invoices are not processed on time, many exceeding 30 days.

Only 18 percent of the repairs and maintenance budget was used, resulting in large-scale dysfunctional equipment including printers, photocopiers and computers.

“As custodians of the oversight model in the city, the legislature should be at the forefront of corporate efficiency. If they continue to fail, there will be very little chance of instilling and maintaining a commendable culture of effective city service delivery.”

However, City of Joburg spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane denied that legislature is mismanaging funds. He said it is a misconception all staff qualify for travel allowance.

Staff members are required to make a formal application and (be approved) by the delegated authority, he said.

Ad hoc travel (is) payable for a limited period, but is based on special travel needs for those who qualify.

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Saturday Star

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