Vilakazi’s salary slashed

2009-07-10 00:00

THE salary of uMngeni municipal manager Dumisani Vilakazi has been cut by more than R400 000 from R1 334 250 to just over R850 000 per annum.

The decision to cut Vilakazi’s salary and those of general managers below him was taken during the council’s full council sitting last week.

uMngeni Mayor Edward Dladla confirmed yesterday that full council reverted to cut the managers’ salaries. He said the municipality resorted to the old system where managers will claim monthly for travelling allowances.

Initially, the council’s Executive Committee (Exco) approved Vilakazi’s salary increase to more than R1,3 million, which put him just a few thousand rands short of what MECs earn. The council’s chief financial officer’s (CFO) salary was pinned at R1 022 143 per annum. Four out of the seven general managers that report to Vilakazi had their salaries hiked to just over R1 million with the other three earning between R943 678 and R979 092 per annum.

With the new salaries, the managers were not supposed to claim for kilometres travelled.

Although it is unclear why the salaries have now been reviewed, its suspected that there was pressure from the ANC’s regional and provincial offices to cut the salary packages.

Last week’s decision was the council’s second attempt to review the salary packages. After the initial increase to R1,3 million per annum, council embarked on a review that proposed Vilakazi should earn R1 297 862 per annum, while the salary of the CFO was reduced to R994 266 per annum.

Two of the general managers for technical and community services remained with pay cheques over the R1 million mark. The other five general managers would earn between R917 000 and R994 266 per annum. The managers were not supposed to claim for kilometres travelled under this salary review.

The latest agreed salary structure puts Vilakazi’s salary package at R856 369 per annum, a difference of R447 881 from the initial R1,3 million. It was agreed at the council meeting last week that the seven general managers will earn between R668 841 and R683 479 per annum and the CFO will take home R680 829 per annum.

In the latest salary hike agreement the managers will claim for travelling allowances.

The DA’s Pam Passmoor told The Witness that it is difficult to see how employees in what are essentially office-bound jobs could incur travel costs of between R15 000 and R26 000 a month, which is what the travel allowances are costing the municipality.

Passmoor said she disagrees with the new figures and maintains that, if the increases approved in the annual budgets from the financial year 07/08 onwards are taken as the basis for the calculations, the municipal manager should be receiving a salary of R743 935 and the rest of the management identical packages of R594 696 per annum.

The Witness has learnt that Vilakazi earned R640 319 per annum in the 2007/08 financial year. This was increased to R695 266 in 2008/09 and was expected to be increased to R743 935 in 2009/10 with a seven percent increase, but a 10% increase was agreed upon which hiked Vilakazi’s salary up to more than R1,3 million.

In a meeting between Dladla and the KZN MEC for Local Government, Willies Mchunu, on Monday, it was agreed that a team of senior managers from the local government department, Treasury and the municipality will undertake an analysis of the salary structure of the municipality and other municipalities similar to uMngeni. Mchunu was not available for comment.

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