Report reveals R524m overtime bill
AUDIT findings have pointed to a picture of lack of controls and compliance with laws and regulations, resulting in eThekwini Municipality having to pay more than R524 million in overtime.
The report for the third quarter, which ended in March this year, said employees were permitted to work overtime that exceeded 10 hours per week and more than 40 hours per month, in contravention of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act..
It said that a computer-assisted audit techniques analysis for the period from December 2016 to June last year revealed that 268 employees had earned overtime greater than their salaries.
“These ranged from 101% to 449%,” the report said.
‘There are occasions where employees have worked 25 days in a 31-day month. This indicates ineffective monitoring of overtime by line departments,” it said.
The report said the overtime on electricity, water, metro police and security management was R524 221 725.04 for the 2016/2017 financial year.
It noted that for the period from January 2016 to June last year, an analysis of the security management unit showed that overtime cost more than R75 million.
Mdu Nkosi, IFP Exco (executive committee) member, said this showed that people were doing as they liked at the municipality.
He said there was a lack of internal controls and that nothing was being done about it.
Nkosi said he suspected that people got the overtime through illegitimate means.
“Ratepayers’ money is not being used legitimately,” he said.
Nkosi said there would be other reports that would detail irregularities and nothing would be done, and that the buck eventually stopped with the political leadership of the municipality.
eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede expressed concern over the amount of overtime.
“I must raise my concerns with regards to the issues that have been highlighted by our audit committee.
“The matter of overtime payment for departments such as metro police, community participation, DSW (Durban Solid Waste) and others requires that we all become part of the solution,” she said.
In an interview with the Daily News, the mayor’s spokesperson, Mthunzi Gumede, said the overtime matter should be addressed in a manner that would not compromise service delivery.
Meanwhile, it was announced at Exco yesterday that the period for processing objections to valuations of property had been extended to the end of November.
For homeowners, this means they have until the end of this month to file objections.
This was the same date that the municipality had planned to finish processing objections.
A report said that to date, eThekwini had received 9 927 objections of which 5 208 had been processed.
Exco member Heinz de Boer said there had been issues with valuations for a number of years.
De Boer said property valuations needed to be taken seriously.
Deputy city manager of finance Krish Kumar said they were facing a number of challenges such as having not enough staff.
Kumar also said he was confident that they would be able to meet the November deadline to resolve all objections,
He said that the last major valuation roll was done over two years and this time the city had tried to do it within one year.