Tsh­wane staff’s hunger not so big after all

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - KENNEDY MUDZULI

THE R15 mil­lion pre­sented to the mu­nic­i­pal pub­lic ac­counts port­fo­lio as hav­ing been spent on take­aways in a month was ac­tu­ally a three-year bud­get amount, the City of Tsh­wane has ex­plained.

Mu­nic­i­pal spokesman Selby Bok­aba said the ex­pen­di­ture for take­aways from Au­gust last year to date was a lit­tle more than R4m.

The three-year con­tract val­ued at R15m was ef­fec­tive from Au­gust last year and would end in July 2016.

On Fri­day, mem­bers of the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee were pre­sented with a re­port ti­tled “Ten­der Statis­tics for Au­gust 2013”.

The re­port listed the five com­pa­nies that were awarded the con­tract for sup­ply­ing, de­liv­er­ing and of­fload­ing standby food parcels to the amount of R15m.

Mem­bers of the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee, the DA’s Bronwynn En­gel­brecht and Cope’s Katlego Matheba said they were shocked by the amount spent on take­aways.

They wanted full de­tails on the con­tracts and the food pro­vided, which they ex­pect to get when the com­mit­tee meets again early next year.

Bok­aba said the food parcels were is­sued only when an em­ployee, who was on “standby”, was called out to per­form du­ties for a pe­riod longer than four hours con­tin­u­ously, and if the em­ployee had missed a meal dur­ing that time.

He said the rea­son for that was be­cause an em­ployee could not be ex­pected to take time off to buy food while at­tend­ing to a power fail­ure.

“The food par­cel is ba­si­cally a ra­tion packet that con­tains non-per­ish­able prod­ucts to en­sure a long shelf life since it is pur­chased in bulk and only drawn from the store if and when re­quired.

“The pack­ets are is­sued only for un­planned over­time – power fail­ures and other emer­gency over­time – and only if a meal is missed,” Bok­aba said.

He stated that the pro­vi­sion of food parcels to en­ergy and elec­tric­ity tech­ni­cians was part of coun­cil pol­icy aris­ing from ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the em­ployer and labour unions.

An em­ployee who is on “standby” is ex­pected to be reach­able at any given time and be within a 30km ra­dius from his or her work­place, Bok­aba noted.

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