Poor municipality's million-rand man

2012-03-25 22:00

Johannesburg - The political adviser for one of the country's poorest municipalities earns R1m a year, but nobody, including the man himself, can explain what his job entails.

Zama Mzamane is the political adviser to Mayor Dingaan Myolwa in the OR Tambo District Municipality in the Transkei region of the Eastern Cape.

National Treasury salary data show that Mzamane earns a total package of R1 180 860 a year.

He is also a rare breed. In nearly 7 000 records of senior council jobs and pay from the Treasury, Mzamane is the only “political adviser” listed.

OR Tambo includes seven local municipalities in an area with a population of 1.5 million people.

The municipality is considered by the Treasury to have been “financially dysfunctional” over the past two financial years and received an adverse audit opinion for 2010/11.

City Press contacted Mzamane several times to ask him what he did and for further details of his salary package.

But he refused to comment and demanded instead that City Press’s report should reveal similar details in return. “Send me the questions and also state how much you earn and what your job is,” he said.

When told that as a public official he was obliged to answer questions relating to his position, he disconnected the call.

'You child'

“Stop pestering me. Leave me alone, you child,” he said in a follow-up call. He then refused again to answer questions.

Mzamane is a former OR Tambo council chief whip and currently a local ANC executive committee member.

The council’s last annual report shows that his package includes a R70 000 a year car allowance and a R2 000 a month cellphone allowance.

His salary package is slightly less than OR Tambo’s municipal manager, who earns R1 265 760 a year.

He earns more than the director of legal services (R1 068 150), the head of the internal audit (R1 064 900) and other senior positions.

Loud laughter

A call to council speaker Nomakhosazana Meth about Mzamane’s position was answered with loud laughter.

“No, I don’t know what his position entails either. Maybe you should ask him.” She referred all questions to Mzamane.

Mayor Myolwa asked that questions be sent to him using Mzamane’s e-mail address, but when contacted, he claimed not to have received them.

The United Democratic Movement’s chief whip in OR Tambo, Vuyani Dangala, said: “This is a crisis. We don’t understand why there should be such a position.

“This is a duplication of duties, as the municipal manager should be the one advising the mayor on issues of the municipality or any other guidance the mayor might need.”

  • spartanx93 - 2012-03-25 22:25

    the fat black cats are milking this poor country. this must be economic freedom in their eyes...

      Anthony - 2012-03-26 00:55

      The big white dog will bite you one day.

      spartanx93 - 2012-03-26 06:30

      @Taetjo - race, race, race..... get over it! Why don't the non-corrupt individuals stand up and be counted? Rather than laying low behind the scense?

      Rob - 2012-03-26 08:11

      Spartan: I wonder how many of the so called non-currupt individuals are also uncorruptable? Consider the visible benefits of corruption to the individual and I would guess that quite a few are in line waiting their turn.

      Koos - 2012-03-26 11:54

      You guys have no idea. About ever 3 to 5 years these people come with “incentive” schemes to get people to pay. Normal terms: Ways to write-off money without it looking like writing off money. Then they start “normalization” projects . Normal terms: Attempt to “correct” the financial system data that actually never really happens. This also entails contracting 2 to 5 BEE companies to actually do the verification but this also doesn’t really happen. Then of course within councils they have to “restructure” to accommodate “more responsibilities” that doesn’t really exist. Normal terms: Create jobs (mostly high ranking positions) for friends and family. Ironically enough I’ve seen a draft just last month where “restructuring” will increase the “capacity” from 1400 to roughly 2400 employees. Ludicrous considering that 99% of all councils are bankrupt. What is more interesting is that in the “old” days that specific council employed 400 to 600 employees only and was at that time functioning properly.

  • Andres - 2012-03-25 22:28

    We will argue the semantics of "one word," chastise someone for using "one word," argue the merits of "one word," yet WILL NOT address the cause of that "one word" being used. Well done Eastern Cape, so the ruling party may not want people to be referred by that "one word" However, you have created the problem, and by calling people fleeing a disintegrating province by any other word, does not fix the disintegrating province nor the plight of those people. Well done, keep screaming about the "one word," whilst those people rot in poverty or flee to escape it.

  • Bennie - 2012-03-25 22:32

    The hippo's ears !! its all about the ho's and cars mkay !!

      Oscar - 2012-03-26 00:53

      The cost of all these advisers, spin doctors, spoke persons etc. is bankrupting this country and the only reason they are required is because of the BEE appointments of people in positions that they haven't got a clue about....including our ministers.

  • Hadebe - 2012-03-25 22:34

    Poor man

  • Bluemast - 2012-03-25 22:41

    This is SA - Nothing like this surprises me anymore! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn........... !!! Viva la ANC - yea right?

  • Gregory - 2012-03-25 22:53

    I call on Jacob Zuma to do the right thing, just once in his life.. Jump off the Mandela bridge.

      sandi.s.ranwell - 2012-03-25 23:11

      He will just be replaced by another skebenga...!

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-03-25 22:54

    ANC : The single biggest cause of massive inequality and poverty in this country. Parasites, all of them.

  • Jeremy - 2012-03-25 23:01

    You always hear about "them" stealing and being corrupt, and now here is one of "them" and we can see him and experience the way he handles this attention and situation.

  • Ken - 2012-03-25 23:14

    Ooo eh eh!!!

  • wgjooste - 2012-03-25 23:17

    Crazy idea : you guys are all aware of KONY 2012 , well lets do a Zama M 2012 , where we dont stop posting his picture and talking about him untill the government removes him from the position... im serious , whose keen , we can start with him , use the same concept except we will not be asking for peoples money... Because i feel that these stories come and go but i want to see some action being taken , ive tried voting it didnt work... I reckon it will be cool if we do something constructive on the internet instead of b&^%& and moan.

      wgjooste - 2012-03-25 23:20

      oh not just removed , but he must give the cash money back to the awesome eastern cape people

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-03-26 11:06

      If we put this into perspective... "He is also a rare breed. In nearly 7 000 records of senior council jobs and pay from the Treasury, Mzamane is the only “political adviser” listed" So we can assume that all the other senior council jobs are receiving roughly the same salaries...this means around 7 000 000 000 rand per year get paid to these guys and they don't even have record of who is working and what their jobs are supposed to be!!?? REALLY!? That's just Eastern Cape guys...REALLY!? what about all the other ANC run provinces, and this is only salary related, the easiest form of expenditure to track! WTF!? Hello!? ANC!? We the people have had enough, sort your mess out! We are working ourselves to death while you are stuffing your pockets!!

  • j.c.s.mailbox - 2012-03-25 23:17

    The only thing is to made this as public as wide as possible for the poor anc voters to realise how these parasitical mongrells are using our tax money. Isnt there somewhere legislation which can screw them up or are they all above any law???

  • manyanyaphiri - 2012-03-26 00:44

    One more "fatcat riding on Mandelasque Nguni tribalism" IF THE FACTS OF HIS SALARY AND HIS HAUGHTY ATTITUDE COMBINED ARE TRUE! Are we going to be freed of this mess? Only the day when Mandela dies? Or when Zuma goes? Or both?

  • Robin - 2012-03-26 01:01

    So sad! Just shows you how the people living at the top don't give a damn about those at the bottom! Lets wait for the usual paid suspension verdict!

      William - 2012-03-26 06:58

      How can you suspend someone who does nothing?

      Robin - 2012-03-26 07:43

      Isn't it great to think that our tax payments are going to yearly winning lottery tickets!

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-03-26 10:47

      PhilMemon : On a rope...

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-03-26 05:43

    another one of those gold plated makework positions for friends and cadres. The anc is full of them.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-03-26 06:09

    It is long past time for South Africans to get a proper government. A government which is subservient to the people. A government which utilizes resources for the development of the people and the country. A government which can lead the nation to prosperity and pride. We cannot go on like this. The only time the people have a bit of a say, is on election day. Even then, the ANC has a hand in the outcome. Then, for 5 years, the people must suffer while the "ruling" party rapes and plunders. No wonder every political party wants to be in "power". To them it is just a party of entitlement, wastage and general decadence, at the cost of the populace. The management of the country must be de-politicized. Political Parties must be scrapped and a system of government implemented where the will of the people prevails, where errors and irregularities are rectified immediately. Government remuneration packages must be slashed. Materialism and egotism in government must be eliminated. "Power" based on racism and populism must be eradicated. The irony is that the people who rape the country now are the ones who will have money stashed away in another country and they will be the ones leaving the country when the paw-paw hits the fan, while the poor people who voted for them, will be the ones facing the hardships. Then, when all the trouble is over, these leeches will come back to South Africa, claim it as their own and carry on stealing. Just like the ANC did before.

      Ze Don - 2012-03-26 08:17

      This is what happens when the lines between party & state get blured

  • konfab - 2012-03-26 06:38

    The fantastic thing about democracy is you get what you vote for.

      Rob - 2012-03-26 09:12

      Not in a party that situation you get domination by the party with the most seats and that is not the same as what people voted for. The system is almost as flawed as the anc

  • Muofhe - 2012-03-26 06:48

    i hate our goverment.stop taking from poor.they are people who are suffering @ de very same province so what does a goverment do?oh man,dis is bad.....i hate it....

      William - 2012-03-26 07:00

      I hate it too.

  • Marion - 2012-03-26 07:17

    Of course they know what his duties are. First is to collect a salary he isn't entitled to. Second is to get car and cellphone allowances he isn't entitled to. The council speaker has no doubt put her job on the line now.

  • John - 2012-03-26 07:34

    There's no money to build hospitals and schools in the Eastern Cape, because all the money goes to people like this.

  • Samukelisiwe Tana Shelembe - 2012-03-26 08:15

    how nice, now this is a job everyone can go after earning R1m+ for doing nothing, wow, yet people are working like slaves out there living trying to make a living

  • Mike - 2012-03-26 08:23

    And government want e-toll from us to pay for roads while a@#$!les like this are earning fat salaries and more than likely not paying a cent tax. Just goes to show where the anc's priorities are again, filling their own pockets while the country they supposed to lead is dying at their expense.

  • Tony - 2012-03-26 09:52

    Over a million a year for doing diddly-squat. Nice work if you can get it.

  • Lloyd - 2012-03-26 09:59

    that's how they roll...

  • ludlowdj - 2012-03-26 10:06

    Its not just one man we unfortunately have an entire government of them pulling in massive salaries while the country grinds to a halt.

  • khulekani.zulu - 2012-03-26 10:09

    I wish they also stated his work expirience and qualification...I doubt there wld be much to tell.

  • Obakeng MrTshiamo - 2012-04-06 09:11

    There is nothing in this article which suggests that the munipality in discussion is poor.

  • Obakeng MrTshiamo - 2012-04-06 09:12

    The last paragraph in the article is flawed

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