- The DA says it is concerned the City of Ekurhuleni is unable to pay salary increases to its staff.
- The party says details around the salary scales were revealed by Community Safety MMC Frans Mmoko in the Ekurhuleni Council.
- But Mmoko condemned the DA, saying the information it revealed is "distorted".
City of Ekurhuleni Community Safety MMC Frans Mmoko says he is dismayed by a communication circulated by the DA surrounding the salaries and allowances of the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department's (EMPD) VIP Protection Unit.
On Wednesday, the DA in Gauteng called on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Lebogang Maile to give clarity on the number of units allocated to MMCs and the 10% allowances to the City's unit.
The party said it had learnt "with shock" that members of the EMPD's VIP Unit were reportedly earning more than R81 000 per month.
According to MPL Michael Shackleton, Mmoko revealed the details in a written reply to the DA's questions tabled in the Ekurhuleni Council.
The MMC revealed the annual salary scale for EMPD VIP Unit officers ranged from R323 988 to R444 468, roughly between R27 000 and R37 000 per month, Shackleton said.
He added Mmoko also stated officers did not get paid overtime because they were paid a fixed allowance in lieu of overtime of 10% based on their annual salary.
"This clearly means that a VIP officer who earns R444 468 per annum has a fixed gross salary of R37 039 plus 10% allowance which is R44 446.80 which equates to a total gross salary of R81 485.80.
"The DA is in possession of an EMPD VIP Unit officer's pay slip which shows two salaries, the fixed salary of R37 039 and two amounts of R37 039 which equates to earnings of R81 485.80 per month," the MPL said in a statement on Wednesday.
Speaking to News24, Mmoko said the details surrounding the salaries of the VIP Protection Unit were "distorted" and not exactly what he had answered in response to the party's question as was required.
He added this was not the first time talks around the unit were raised and employees had also taken to the streets protesting on issues of salary structures, saying the human resources department was mandated to look into the issues.
Mmoko said as community safety MMC, he had a responsibility to respond factually and accurately to questions asked by political parties.
He added the department would issue a statement later in the day to counter the details revealed by the DA.
Mmoko said it was disappointing the DA caucus could not even seek clarity in the council and committees, but went to provincial level and shared the issues.
"Of course we will avail ourselves, and clarify matters but I don't understand what the agenda is when we are required and expected to respond questions."
Protection Unit Officers for council members
According to the DA, Mmoko revealed in the council a VIP officer earning a R323 988 annual salary had a fixed gross salary of R26 999 plus 10% of their annual salary of R32 398.80 which equates to a total gross salary of R59 397.80.
Shackleton said the amounts paid to VIP Protection Unit members were "ridiculous" considering the EMPD was under-resourced.
He added Human Settlements MMC Lesiba Mpya had nine VIP protection officers which were more than both the mayor and city manager who, respectively, had six officers each.
"Other MMCs have between three and four VIP protection officers while the speaker has three VIP protection officers; the chief whip has two VIP protection officers; the chief of police has two VIP protection officers and both the chief financial officer and the chairperson of MPAC each have one VIP protection officer.
"There is no explanation as to why Mpya has nine VIP protection officers. In the case of a safety risk, the risk assessment must be done by the SAPS for any councillor."
Breach of security
The party said it was worrying the City was unable to staff salary increases and had opted to divide the salary increase into two phases, while they continued to pay skyrocketing salaries for VIP protection officers for politicians and senior management.
Mmoko said as much as the City wanted to be accountable to the DA it was disappointing the party went public and specified the number of protection officers for MMCs, breaching security.
He added there were reasons behind the allocation of protection officers for members.
"From my side, I condemn the DA's action because they have distorted the information," Mmoko said.
Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.