Fury as BCC spends $300 000 on over­time pay

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Chronicle - Nqo­bile Tshili

THE Bu­l­awayo City Coun­cil blew about $300 000 in July on over­time al­lowances, the lat­est coun­cil min­utes have re­vealed.

Fig­ures on how much was spent in other months and how much the city’s wage bill was were not im­me­di­ately avail­able.

In July the mu­nic­i­pal­ity spent $298 055 in over­time pay­ments. Coun­cil ar­gued that the over­time was caused by short­age of staff and some of its em­ploy­ees had to do dou­ble shifts.

Coun­cil­lors have since urged the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s ad­min­is­tra­tors to de­vise strate­gies to re­duce the over­time al­lowances.

Coun­cil ac­crued the al­lowances mainly in the se­cu­rity depart­ment, refuse re­moval, mu­nic­i­pal­ity run clin­ics among other de­part­ments.

Ward 16 coun­cil­lor Nephat Sibanda said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity should come up with al­ter­na­tive ways of deal­ing with over­time.

“Dis­cus­sion en­sued and coun­cil­lor N. Sibanda was con­cerned about over­time say­ing that de­part­ments were not do­ing enough to re­duce it. He said that coun­cil could en­cour­age em­ploy­ees to take off days in­stead of cash for over­time worked,” read the min­utes.

“He fur­ther said that coun­cil could re­duce over­time worked by se­cu­rity per­son­nel guard­ing coun­cil schools by sur­ren­der­ing this ac­tiv­ity to the com­mu­nity school de­vel­op­ment as­so­ci­a­tions, as was the case in Gov­ern­ment schools.”

Ac­cord­ing to the min­utes, Ward 7 Clr James Sit­hole said over­time ex­pen­di­ture must be re­duced in all de­part­ments.

The min­utes said the coun­cil’s act­ing di­rec­tor of hous­ing and com­mu­nity ser­vices Mr Dic­tor Khu­malo said over­time was pre­dom­i­nantly in the se­cu­rity sec­tion as a num­ber of coun­cil premises and in­stal­la­tions needed the ser­vices of se­cu­rity guards.

Bu­l­awayo United Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Wi­nos Dube yes­ter­day said the Gov­ern­ment should al­low coun­cil to re­cruit peo­ple as some peo­ple have no jobs yet the money is go­ing to peo­ple al­ready em­ployed.

“We’re hav­ing re­ports of sewer bursts. I’ve tried to en­gage on why they are not re­spond­ing on time and they high­lighted the is­sue of short­age of staff. Pre­vi­ously they were at­tend­ing to calls dur­ing week­ends” said Dube.

Last month, BCC in­tro­duced pal­isade fenc­ing to re­place se­cu­rity guards in a move au­thor­i­ties said will help the coun­cil save $1 mil­lion a year.

The elec­tri­fied pal­isade fences were erected at 33 wa­ter and pumps sta­tions dot­ted across the city. Act­ing Town Clerk Mrs Sikhangele Zhou said then that the move would as­sist coun­cil in meet­ing the 70:30 per­cent ra­tio of ser­vice de­liv­ery and em­ploy­ment costs as pre­scribed by the Gov­ern­ment.-@ nqot­shili

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