Excessive overtime: ‘managers to blame’

2009-11-20 00:00

INADEQUATE management coupled with the poor monitoring of employees is the main reason that many Msunduzi Municipality staffers are getting away with making massive individual overtime claims.

This was stated in a meeting of the executive committee (Exco) yesterday, at which ANC councillor Themba Zungu said it has been brought to their attention that there are some managers who arrive at work at 11 am only to leave two hours later.

There is no supervision and managers who are supposed to be managing their staff do not know what is going on, said Zungu.

“When you ask who authorised the overtime payments, nobody knows. The authorisation for overtime comes from somebody. We cannot allow people to earn R55 000 on top of their salary. That money can be used for electricity, water and other services,” he said.

Deputy mayor Mervyn Dirks said legislation prohibits politicians from interfering in administrative issues. He said Exco has played its oversight role by repea­tedly requesting management to do something to curb exhorbitant overtime, yet the matter continues to be a problem year after year.

“I can’t go ask for people’s overtime sheets because it would be interfering with management. That’s a dismissible offence,” he said.

Zungu said there are some instances where employees embark on a deliberate “go-slow” during normal working hours just so they can work after hours and capitalise on overtime.

He said “planned overtime” should not be tolerated, but they do realise that there are some emergency instances that make it necessary for people to work after hours.

Zungu said it is disappointing that the deputy municipal manager for community services, Zwe Hulane, is the only one who tabled a report on how his business unit would handle the overtime issue in the interim.

Msunduzi Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo said she is hoping for detailed reports about how they will deal with the issue in its entirety.

“I don’t authorise any overtime. Anybody in my office who abuses overtime must be dealt with by management,” she said.

Hlatshwayo said they needed to strategise on how they were going to deal with this matter.

A review is scheduled for the end of January.

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