Tshwane staff’s hunger not so big after all
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.