Rustenburg - Municipal workers at the cash-strapped Ditsobotla local municipality in North West have now been paid their February salaries.
The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) said the municipality paid workers their salaries on Friday.
"Following the intervention by the union, the municipality has today (Friday) paid workers’ salaries, seven days later than the pay date. The municipality has further made a commitment that in the next few days, monies owed to third parties will be gradually paid, to ensure that all these accounts are settled.
"We are aware that this is not the first time that the municipality has failed to pay workers’ salaries on time in the last few months. We will therefore continue monitoring the situation to ensure that, moving forward, the municipality pays workers their salaries on time and that third parties’ arrears are settled," said general secretary, Dumisane Magagula.
He said the municipality has also been deducting from workers’ salaries money supposedly for pension funds and medical aid, but failed to pay such deductions over to the intended recipients.
"Currently, the said third parties are owed over R49 million," he said.
Magagula said they have established that Ditsobotla municipality’s financial problems have been worsened by its failure to bill consumers since July 2022, as a result, the municipality is owed over R300 million by residents, businesses and government departments.
"The North West provincial government has also compounded the problems faced by the municipality by failing to timeously pay for municipal services that they have consumed. We are, however, pleased by the commitment and dedication by the Cogta (Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs) MEC (Nono Maloyi) and his office in ensuring that a team is dispatched to verify and settle some of the money that is owed to the municipality," he said.
He said the current municipal funding model was to blame for the financial collapse of the country’s municipalities.
"Ditsobotla local municipality owes creditors almost R1 billion, an amount which would practically be impossible to pay through revenue collecting, hence the need for government to ensure that municipalities receive a fairer equitable share," he said.