Four officials pocket R1,5?mln in overtime

2014-01-15 00:00

FOUR officials in the province’s Economic Development and Tourism Department pocketed R1,5 million in overtime payments in just one financial year.

The officials’ excessive over-payments, which formed part of the overall R1,8 million in overtime paid in 2011-12, was despite the provincial government’s cost-cutting measures and the government policy which prescribes that overtime should not be in excess of 30% of an employee’s salary and must be approved by a head of department.

The Democratic Alliance said the payments are an indication of how the department has now become a “cash cow” with officials pocketing “fat salaries” in addition to their ordinary wages.

The payments in overtime were revealed in a response by Economic Development and Tourism MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu to a parliamentary question asked by DA spokesperson Johann Krog on economic development.

In his reply, Mabuyakhulu insisted that the overtime paid to the officials was in accordance with the overtime policy.

“As will be seen on the spreadsheet, there are units within the department that will have more overtime work because of a number of reasons,” he said.

The information he furnished to Krog showed that the department paid ­

R 1 871 209 in overtime between April 2011 and March 2012.

The report shows that the money was paid to a range of officials, who included clerks and managers.

The total overtime paid monthly to all officials who benefited ranged between R13 223 (December 2011) and R283 331 (June 2011).

However, four assistant managers scored more than the rest, amassing R1,5 million between them.

The names of the officials and the amounts they pocketed over and above their salaries are:

• J.C. Mthethwa, who raked in R385 588;

• S.N. Biyela, who raked in R331 027;

• S.M. Mabika, who was paid R380 835; and

• Z.M. Ninela, who pocketed R458 438.

The report shows that in only two months Mthethwa raked in a total of R82 749 for overtime worked in April and May 2011 and another R57 374 in March 2012 for work done in November 2011, December 2011 and January 2012.

Ninela had in June 2011 pocketed R92 245 for working 664 hours’ overtime in April and May in the same year.

The biggest amount scored by Biyela was R67 723 in October 2011 for overtime performed in August and September that year, while colleague Mabika was paid R59 557 in January 2012 for working overtime in November and December 2011.

The normal monthly salaries of assistant directors are R26 000 before deductions.

Mabuyakhulu blamed the overtime on cost-cutting measures introduced by the Provincial Treasury that resulted in several positions being left vacant.

• mayibongwe.maqhina@witness.co.za

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