File picture: Independent Media

Cape Town - Kannaland municipality, which has a reputation for financial waste and mismanagement, has raised eyebrows again after it emerged that the personal assistant to the municipal manager will earn R100 000 a month - more than her boss.

The outgoing municipal manager, Morne Hoogbaard, received R1.1 million annually, equalling R91 000 a month.

George attorney Liesel Scholtz was initially appointed on August 24 as (ANC) mayor Magdalena Barry's personal assistant.

Her salary was indicated as R100 000 a month on the council's agenda.

Scholtz was then moved to the office of the municipal manager, where the municipality's chief financial officer, Nigel Delo, was acting, following the sudden resignation of Hoogbaard.

Kannaland, the smallest and poorest municipality in the Western Cape, with a population of just under 25 000 where the average annual income is R29 000, was in the news earlier this year when Eskom threatened to cut off its power supply over unpaid electricity bills.

The municipality has since come to an arrangement to pay off its R12 million debt with the power utility.

Former mayor Jeffrey Donson, who was booted out of power by the DA/ANC coalition of councillors, said the post of “executive personal assistant” had not been budgeted for.

“She earns more than the officer manager who is her boss,” said Donson.

He said he would file a criminal complaint over Scholtz’s appointment on Wednesday, saying it was “highly irregular”.

Scholtz was in the news two years ago when the police’s Hawks unit launched an investigation over R250 000 in missing funds which had been placed in her trust by one of her clients.

On Wednesday, Delo informed Barry he would stand down as acting municipal manager, citing a breakdown of trust and because decisions had been made at the municipality without his presence or consultation.

He has returned to his position as the municipality's chief financial officer.

“For obvious reasons, this is of concern to me, especially since I am deemed the accounting officer as well as the accountable officer for the municipality's administration,” Delo wrote in his letter.

“As such, I am stepping down with immediate effect as acting municipal manager in order for the council to appoint someone it trusts in this position.”

ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs, when contacted, said the party's provincial executive would seek a full report from its councillors in the municipality.

“We are committed to good governance and have asked for a full report on the appointment, and will then act,” said Jacobs.

Barry did not respond to calls and text messages seeking comment on Scholtz’s appointment. Scholtz was also unavailable.

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Cape Times