Delayed staff salary payments a "technical glitch"

2017-05-26 14:10
uMsunduzi municipal worker's took to Pietermaritzburg's city centre on Wednesday to protest over unpaid salaries.

uMsunduzi municipal worker's took to Pietermaritzburg's city centre on Wednesday to protest over unpaid salaries. (Ian Carbutt (File))

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Msunduzi Municipality has dispelled allegations that they are in the red with their finances, saying the payment fiasco on Wednesday was merely a technical glitch.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha confirmed that all employees were paid on Thrusday.

In a statement issued to the media on Thursday, Mafumbatha said the municipality’s cash coverage and liquidity ratio were “sound ... and both exceed the industry norm”.

“In this instance, there are indications that a technical glitch may have triggered the late payment, which resulted in municipal employees being paid a few hours later than usual,” she said.

Mafumbatha said the municipality was investigating the cause of the error in payments but has drawn no conclusions as to what exactly triggered the late payment.

She also dismissed the allegation, made by acting municipal manager Sizwe Hadebe, that First National Bank’s system was hacked.

Hadebe told the protesting employees on Wednesday that the problem was with FNB, the municipality’s bank.

Hadebe said the bank’s system was hacked and that this caused the delay in payment to some employees, but FNB spokesperson Nick Montso denied that their system was compromised.

Mafumbatha added that the late payment was also not triggered by the implementation of the new SAP financial system. She said the municipality apologised for the inconvenience to the employees and the central business district that was affected by protesting workers.

“The municipality does, however, condemn the vandalism and destruction of municipal property that resulted and the behaviour of those employees who chose not to follow the proper channels in order to resolve this unfortunate matter,” she said.

She said the destruction of property referred to was when angry protesters pelted the City Hall and municipal administration block, the A.S. Chetty building, with eggs on Wednesday, and when they threw rubbish around and blocked Church Street to motorists driving through the CBD.

Proceedings at the Pietermaritzburg courts had to be suspended when they were plunged into darkness due to a power outage in some parts of the city.

The Witness saw workers switching off the power to the A.S. Chetty building where piles of rubbish were burned in front of the gates shortly before the crowd dispersed on their own.


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