Millions paid in overtime

2009-09-28 00:00

POOR financial management at the Msunduzi Municipality during the 2008/09 financial year resulted in millions of rands in over expenditure.

This is reflected in a finance committee report, which states that the overall expenditure on allowances and salaries in the previous financial year amounted to a total of R48,4 million.

According to the report, some of the funds were spent as follows: R2,4 million for staff holiday bonuses; R8,6 million for basic pay, R3,4 million for fixed transport costs and R4,2 million on acting allowances.

The report cites an increase in both the number of staff and seasonal workers as the reason for poor budgeting on employee-related costs.

A glimpse of the overtime budget for the 2008/09 financial year als­o points to overspending. The municipality exceeded the R43,4 million overtime budget by a whopping R22,5 million. The worst offender was the community services business unit, which used up R29,5 million out of the R43,4 million. In second and third place, were the infrastructure services and city corporate divisions, who used up R2,2 million and R700 000 respectively.

Over expenditure has already spilled over into the current financial year, which began on July 1.

According to a report written by the municipality’s chief financial officer, Roy Bridgmohan, the R5,7 million overtime budget for July was exceeded by R3 million.

August recorded more overspending. Bridgmohan wrote in his report: “The salary bill for the month of R56 million is over budget by R9 million. Salary agreement between Salga (South African Local Government Association) and the workers’ unions was reached by the end of July. Over expenditure on basic salary vote is due to back-pay [July] paid in August. Overtime for the month of August exceeded the budget by R3,6 million and cumulatively over budget by R6,6 million.”

In February this year, The Witness reported that the municipality had blown its entire R33 million overtime budget in seven months.

At the time, executive committee (Exco) members said poor management was to blame. The finance committee resolved that no more money would be channelled into overtime until municipal manager Rob Haswell and his team submitted detailed reports about how they would reign in spending.

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