Re­port re­veals R524m over­time bill

Daily News - - NEWS - MPHATHI NX­U­MALO

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.

Money

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.

Prop­erty

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.

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