Mu­nic­i­pal heads to earn more than pres­i­dent

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - METRO - LOY­ISO SIDIMBA

THE high­est-earn­ing mu­nic­i­pal man­ager in the coun­try will take home an an­nual salary higher than that of Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa.

This is in ac­cor­dance with the de­ci­sion by Co-op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs Min­is­ter Dr Zweli Mkhize to in­crease mu­nic­i­pal man­agers’ salaries, which has been slammed by unions rep­re­sent­ing mu­nic­i­pal work­ers.

Mkhize an­nounced this week that mu­nic­i­pal man­agers and those di­rectly re­port­ing to them will re­ceive pay hikes of up to R200000. The high­est-paid of­fi­cials will pos­si­bly earn up to more than R3.9 mil­lion a year.

Ramaphosa’s salary is just above R3.6m an­nu­ally, while Mkhize and other min­is­ters take home R2.4m a year.

In­de­pen­dent Mu­nic­i­pal and Al­lied Trade Union (Imatu) pres­i­dent Stan­ley Khoza told the Week­end Ar­gus work­ers’ salaries were in­creased by small per­cent­ages com­pared to those of their bosses.

He said mu­nic­i­pal man­agers were re­mu­ner­ated as if they worked alone in mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Imatu mem­bers and lo­cal govern­ment work­ers in gen­eral were un­happy with­this, Khoza said.

In Au­gust, mu­nic­i­pal work­ers re­ceived a 7% salary in­crease, which saw them take home a min­i­mum wage of R7324.24 a month.

Mkhize, how­ever, said he had con­sulted with his fi­nance as well as pub­lic ser­vice and ad­min­is­tra­tion counterparts, Tito Mboweni and Ayanda Dlodlo re­spec­tively, MECs re­spon­si­ble for lo­cal govern­ment, as well as rel­e­vant unions.

He ex­plained that the mu­nic­i­pal man­agers’ salary in­creases were aimed at en­sur­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate re­mu­ner­a­tion mix. They also sought to en­sure that the re­mu­ner­a­tion of se­nior man­agers was cost-ef­fec­tive, con­sis­tent, eq­ui­table, com­pet­i­tive and­per­for­mance-re­lated.

The SA Mu­nic­i­pal Work­ers Union (Samwu) was greatly dis­ap­pointed by Mkhize’s de­ter­mi­na­tion and con­demned the in­creases, main­tain­ing that in­flated salaries of mu­nic­i­pal man­agers should be redi­rected to­wards ser­vice de­liv­ery and re­mu­ner­at­ing work­ers bet­ter.

“Th­ese in­creases hap­pen when mu­nic­i­pal work­ers are heav­ily un­der­paid. When they de­mand a fairer salary in­cre­ment, they are told that their de­mands are sim­ply unaffordable, whereas those sit­ting in air-con­di­tioned of­fices are swim­ming in pools of money,” Samwu said.

The in­creases, ac­cord­ing to the union, come at a time where mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are in­ten­si­fy­ing their strat­egy of de­liv­er­ing ser­vices through the use of the Extended Pub­lic Works Pro­gramme vol­un­teers whose salaries were re­cently in­creased “a mere R4.31 per day”.

“It does not make sense how a mu­nic­i­pal man­ager can be re­mu­ner­ated 180 times more than the least-paid em­ployee in the sec­tor,” the union added.

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