Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)
Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Councils pay same staff twice

By Manyane Manyane Time of article published Nov 8, 2020

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Johannesburg - An audit report has found that at least 20 employees of embattled Emfuleni Municipality have been double-dipping and drawing a salary from Sedibeng District Municipality.

The report, commissioned by the Gauteng Human Settlement and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) and compiled by advocate William Mokhari, revealed that for the past five years, both municipalities have been paying salaries of 20 employees employed by Emfuleni.

The workers were employed at Sedibeng District Municipality and left to work for Emfuleni Local Municipality during the tenure of its controversial mayor Simon Mofokeng. When the auditors asked Sedibeng Mayor Busisiwe Modisakeng why she was paying these salaries, she didn’t come up with a clear answer.

The report also found that the municipality has an excess of 200 employees on top of the 300 it had budgeted for.

Sedibeng co-ordinates functions of Emfuleni, Lesedi and Midvaal.

“There was another employee who was working as a cleaner at Sedibeng and she was moved to the office of the mayor in Emfuleni. This angered many employees in Emfuleni because she was paid more money than people who are qualified and experienced,” said a source close to the issue.

DA Emfuleni North constituency head Kingsol Chabalala said: “I have asked about this but MEC Maile denied this. I am glad that the advocate has found out about this. We are going to follow this matter. Those who are implicated must account and be charged with fraud,” said Chabalala.

Emfuleni spokesperson Stanley Gaba denied that these were employees who were recruited by Mofokeng, saying Sedibeng and Emfuleni had a service level agreement concerning the migration of the ICT functions. He said the agreement covered the period from November 2002 to June 2017.

“Since then, Emfuleni has been engaging in the process of transferring and observing the corresponding staff to its service. It is noteworthy to be aware that only Emfuleni out of the three local municipalities that is still engaging in this process of migration.

“Of key importance is Sedibeng has stopped paying salaries of these employees, stopped procurement of ICT equipment, tools, software, hardware, systems, networks and other ICT related goods and services,” he said.

Sedibeng spokesperson Saviour Kgaswane did not answer why employees were paid by Sedibeng while working for Emfuleni. He said Modisakeng noted the investigation and she will hold a mayoral committee meeting.

“Thereafter, the mayoral committee will make a formal and comprehensive response to the findings and recommendations. Furthermore, it must be noted that Mokhari’s investigation will be tabled before the council,” said Kgaswane.

The report further questioned the appointment of the late Sedibeng Municipal Manager, Stanley Khanyile. Mokhari found that the council had appointed Khanyile unlawfully, and paid him a salary package of R1.8 million, beyond the threshold of R1.4m. This, despite the advert stipulating that the maximum salary package of R1.2m was offered by the municipality.

“Council obtained no waiver from the minister, which was a mandatory requirement for his appointment at a salary package of R1.8m.”

The report recommended that Maile should instruct the state attorney to take steps to recover the money.

Lebogang Maile, in a statement this week, said there was no doubt that the investigation report has made serious findings of maladministration, fraud, corruption and malpractice.

“Both myself as the MEC responsible for local government in the province and the Exco have carefully considered the outcome of the investigation and are deeply disturbed by the same. In furtherance of the promotion of good and clean governance, we have accepted the findings and recommendations as embedded therein,” he said.

The Sunday Independent

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