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Municipal managers’ pay hike slammed


The total number of points allocated to a municipality are then categorised on a scale from one to 10, which determines remuneration levels

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THE SOUTH African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) has condemned the new salary levels of municipal managers, which will see the Sol Plaatje municipal manager earning just under R2 million a year.

The Department of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) gazetted the new upper limits of total remuneration packages payable to municipal managers last week.

The limits – which take retroactive effect from July 1 2018 – are based on a strategic framework for remuneration of senior managers across all municipalities, the document states.

It added that the framework takes into account “core reward principles” and is aimed at ensuring that the remuneration of senior managers is “cost effective, consistent, internally balanced (equitable) and externally competitive”.

Based on this, the framework allocates points to municipalities based on the total municipal income, total population sizes, and equitable share of individual municipalities.

The total number of points allocated to a municipality are then categorised on a scale from one to 10, which determines remuneration levels.

This is further split across a ‘minimum’, ‘midpoint’ and ‘maximum’ level based on the background, tenure and capabilities of individual managers (among other factors).

As a category 6 municipality, the city manager of the Sol Plaatje Municipality will receive a package of R1 987 402, while those reporting directly to municipal managers will earn over R1 596 747.

In bigger municipalities, some municipal managers could earn around the same amount as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is expected to earn a salary of R3.6 million in 2018 – although half is donated to a new fund that will be managed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. A category 10 municipal manager can earn
R3.14 million.

Samwu general secretary, Simon Mathe, said on Friday that the union had learnt with great disappointment the ‘determination of upper limits’ which regulates the salaries of municipal managers.

“These increases happen when municipal workers are heavily underpaid – when municipal workers demand a fairer salary increment they are told that their demands are simply unaffordable whereas those sitting in air-conditioned offices are swimming in pools of money, those who are subjected to rain, wind and sun daily are given peanuts,” Mathe said.

The union stated that the increases were extended at a time when municipalities were intensifying their strategy of delivering services through the use of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) hence their reluctance to fill vacancies.

“It is a shame that these increases were gazetted on the same week that EPWP workers’ salaries were increased by a mere R4.31 per day. It does not make sense how a municipal manager can be remunerated 180 times more than the lowest paid employee in the sector. These are the people who are responsible for the real business of service delivery,” Mathe said.

“It is for this reason that Samwu will be intensifying its campaign for the absorption of all EPWP workers by municipalities on a permanent basis. EPWP participants are delivering a municipal service and as such they should be absorbed by municipalities.

“We maintain that the ridiculous and highly-inflated salaries given to municipal managers could should be redirected towards service delivery and for better remunerating municipal workers.”

A senior manager in some Northern Cape towns may also be paid a “remote allowance” of 4%. This includes !Kheis, Siyancuma, Thembelihle, Magareng, and Phokwane. A 7% remote allowance is paid in Khai-Ma, Umsobomvu, Renosterberg, Tsantsabane, Kgatelopele, Gamagara, Ga-Segonyana, and John Taolo Gaetsewe.