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… municipality denies overpayment

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The Frances Baard District Municipality has denied that its municipal manager is overpaid

Mamikie Bogatsu, Frances Baard District Municipality municipal manager

WHILE the Frances Baard District Municipality will discuss the issue of the salary of the municipal manager at an upcoming council meeting, it has denied that any overpayment was made.

Spokesperson for the Frances Baard District Municipality, Gerline Roman, said that an item had been tabled before council that an ordinary sitting would take place on May 23 “relating and incidental” to the salary of the municipal manager.

“There has never been an overpayment to the municipal manager,” said Roman.

“The municipal manager earned a salary based on her contract, entered into between herself and the municipality on November 1, 2012. The employment contract was extended by council until the position of the municipal manager was filled in October 2017. This is a basic labour law principle which applies to any extension of a contract.”

Roman explained that the position was only filled on May 1 this year.

“Council took a decision in August 2017 to extend the contract of the municipal manager for three months anticipating the finalisation of the recruitment process. The recruitment was not finalised after three months and council took another resolution to extend the contract until the municipal manager has been appointed. In both instances, the conditions of employment contract of November 2012 continued.”

Roman indicated that the council resolution that was taken in January this year sought to amend the council resolution taken in October 2017 and had therefore altered the terms of employment.

“The offer was made to (Mamikie) Bogatsu, which she refused to accept based on the October 2017 council resolution. This was communicated to the executive mayor, who has the responsibility to table the matter in council as municipal managers are appointed by councils, including setting the terms and conditions.”

She stated that remuneration based on the government gazette would therefore only be applicable with the new appointment as from May 1.

“This is applicable to any municipal manager and managers directly accountable to municipal managers elsewhere in the country. The post of the municipal manager was advertised and it was common cause that the new municipal manager would be remunerated based on the upper limits based on the government gazette.”

Roman said that Bogatsu had more than 10 years’ experience in senior management in local government, dating back to 2006 when she was appointed as the director responsible for legal services with the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta).

“She joined the Frances Baard District Municipality in 2012 as municipal manager for five years. She has been appointed by council for another term, which commenced on May 1.

“During her tenure, the municipality enjoyed a track record of clean audits for three consecutive financial years. The municipality has set strong internal control systems. Any financial misconduct would be investigated by council for its informed and appropriate decision.”

Roman pointed out that the municipality had always adhered to the principles of good governance.

“The systems of the municipality are such that any overpayment would not go unnoticed – including an audit by the auditor-general.”