Fury as BCC spends $300 000 on overtime pay
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