Overtime outrage

2009-10-16 00:00

OUTRAGED Msunduzi Municipality executive council (Exco) members are demanding that senior officials be penalised finanacially for failing to implement a council resolution to curb overtime.

Shocked members learnt yesterday that barely three months into the new financial year, the overtime budget is about to be blown. Already R25 million of the R33,5 million overtime budget has been spent.

“I have never seen this happen in our council before,” said Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo.

Municipal manager Rob Haswell’s report on how he was going to curb spending on the remaining R8 million was dismissed as another empty promise.

Democratic Alliance councillor Bill Lambert said Haswell is beginning to sound like a stuck record. “We have plans brought to Exco time and again and once more we are faced with the same problem. These are startling figures in our quarterly report.”

The head of human resources, Kevin Perumal, also came in for a drubbing for failing to follow a council directive to provide Exco with a detailed report giving a breakdown of who gets overtime in the municipality.

Deputy Mayor Mervin Dirks said he had a sense that the amounts being paid out to individuals are so exorbitant that they are in total breach of council policy.

Cllr Themba Zungu called for officials to be surcharged.

Perumal said the report is ready, but his unit wants to present it at a workshop. He agreed with Exco that there is systematic abuse of overtime and said “certain employees have learnt to buck the system”.

The mayor did not accept his explanation and said there is no excuse for the report not being presented to Exco.

The media were asked to leave the meeting twice during the discussion on overtime. The first was when Perumal was giving details of some of his findings. The second was when Dirks wanted to make a point. He said the findings are sensitive and need to be treated as confidential.

Hlatshwayo said that beside Perumal’s report, Exco also wants a report on what action, if any, has been taken on the Exco’s previous resolution to curb overtime pay.









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