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Greater Tzaneen Municipality denies blowing R200m on staff overtime payments

Former DA national spokesperson and current party Mopani constituency political head, Solly Malatsi. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Former DA national spokesperson and current party Mopani constituency political head, Solly Malatsi. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 17, 2022

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Pretoria - The Greater Tzaneen Municipality has denied reports that it blew more than R200 million in overtime payments to its staff in the local municipality of Mopani District from 2013 to 2021.

On Tuesday, the DA accused the municipality of unnecessary overtime expenditure of a whopping R211m in the seven years. It based this on a report tabled in the Limpopo-based council in recent weeks.

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Former DA national spokesperson and current party Mopani constituency political head, Solly Malatsi, said the municipality was running a “syndicate operation” which had cost the municipality millions of rand.

Malatsi said: “To put this into context, municipal officials earned a generous R23.5m in the 2013/14 financial year, which ballooned to R34.3m in 2020/21, representing a massive increase of approximately 40% in the same period.”

He said employees in the solid waste management division in the municipality were the serial abusers of the overtime reward system throughout the municipality.

According to Malatsi, the staff amassed a record R7.4m for the 2021/ 22 financial year.

“The report further shows that at least 60% of the municipality’s employees (431 out of 660) have been receiving overtime pay every month for the past consecutive seven years, and between 47 and 253 employees have been claiming more than 40 hours for overtime every month.

“This is an extraordinary display of the abuse of the municipality’s overtime reward system.

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“One employee claimed 194 hours, totalling R88 634.16 in November 2021,” Malatsi pointed out.

He said it was clear from the excessive millions spent annually between 2013 and 2021 that municipal officials had been abusing the overtime reward system without any intervention from the various ANC mayors in charge.

However, Tzaneen Municipality spokesperson Neville Ndlala, responding to questions sent by the Pretoria News, dismissed Malatsi’s assertions calling them baseless.

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“The DA is disingenuous with the truth, or let us say creative with the information. What the DA has forgotten to mention was that their media statement is based on a report commissioned by the executive management of the Greater Tzaneen Municipality and presented during its meeting last week.

“This report provides a detailed analysis of the municipality’s overtime expenditure over the past seven years.

“Again, the DA has purposefully omitted content contained in that report which outlines measures to address the excessive overtime expenditure,” Ndlala said.

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“The overtime expenditure is a serious concern for both the political leadership and the management of the Greater Tzaneen Municipality.

“The view of the new council is that some of the funds spent on paying employees for overtime must be saved and channelled to service delivery. The political leadership has instructed management to urgently address the matter.

“We must state that the nature of our work requires our employees to work overtime regularly. However, the amount paid to them for overtime is excessive and cannot be justified.

“We provide 24-hour services for electricity and water. We also provide waste removal services, traffic services, road maintenance and many other services that require our employees to work overtime,” Ndlala said.

Pretoria News

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