Pretoria - The insourcing of all workers in the City of Tshwane has been ruled out by Mayor Randall Williams, who warned that taking such a decision could cripple the metro’s finances.
According to him, the City’s salary bill was deemed to be unsustainable after it had jumped to 50% of the operating budget over the years.
In 2016, when the DA-led administration assumed office, the City was spending at least 33%, or R6 billion on a salary bill of its operating budget on employee costs, according to mayor at the time, Solly Msimanga.
Msimanga had attributed some of the inflated bill to about 900 workers hired in the office of his predecessor Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
Williams touched on the metro’s salary bill during last week’s council sitting while explaining that it was impossible to insource every worker, despite calls by the EFF for the City to do so.
Two years ago the Auditor-General (AG) also raised concerns about the City’s huge wage bill, which was at the time standing at R9.2bn for an estimated 25 000 workforce.
It was then projected that the bill was likely to climb to R9.6bn based on the City’s 2020/21 budget.
Williams said at the moment the salary bill of the City made up 50% of the operating budget and that was despite the fact that the municipality has a 36% vacancy rate.
“If we have to insource everybody, the salary bill will make up more than 80% of the operating budget,” he said.
In recent years, the City insourced at least 1 500 security guards after the council resolved that the City must abolish the hiring of private security companies and employ 4 000 guards in-house in a new directorate called the Asset Protection Unit, under the auspices of the Tshwane Metro Police Department.
Williams, however, said: “We had a plethora of security companies that were supposed to have 4 000 security guards guarding our infrastructure.
“When we advertised to in-source them, only 1 500 of security guards applied.
“So all these years we paid for 4 000 security guards, only for 1 500 to have been guarding the infrastructure of the city.”
He explained that salaries were paid from the operating budget and the unspent money returned to the Treasury came from the capital budget.
“We cannot use money from the capital budget to pay salaries. It is not allowed,” he said.