Home News NC, FS municipalities not paying workers named, shamed

NC, FS municipalities not paying workers named, shamed

324

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has named and shamed four municipalities in the Northern Cape and the Free State that failed to pay salaries to their employees from the beginning of April to date.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana. File picture

FINANCE Minister Enoch Godongwana has named and shamed four municipalities in the Northern Cape and the Free State that failed to pay salaries to their employees from the beginning of April to date.

Godongwana further said his hands were tied and he could not intervene when councils did not honour their financial obligations.

He revealed this when he was responding to parliamentary questions from Freedom Front Plus MP Ignatius Michael Groenewald, who asked about the total number of municipalities in each province that did not pay salaries in the past five financial years and from April 2022.

Groenewald also enquired about municipalities that only partly paid salaries for one month, two to six months, and more than six months.

In his written response, Godongwana named Renosterberg Municipality in the Northern Cape as well as Tokogo, Mantsopa and Mafube municipalities in the Free State as culprits since April 2022.

Gogongwana said the eight municipalities that did not pay salaries to their employees in 2021/22 were Kopanong, Mohokare, Masilonyane, Mantsopa and Mafube in the Free State as well Kai !Garib, Kheis and Renosterberg in the Northern Cape.

Godongwana’s response showed that Amahlathi in the Eastern Cape, Mafube and Kopanong in the Free State, Modimolle-Mookgophong in Limpopo and Kai! Garib and Kheis in the Northern Cape were among the culprits in the prior years.

There were six municipalities that did not pay salaries of employees in 2016/17. The number grew to eight in 2017/18 and then to 14 the following financial year.

The number stood at 14 in 2020/21 and declined to 10 in 2020/21.

The minister said he would not make a statement on the non-payment of salaries of employees by the affected municipalities.

“The design of the Local Government Fiscal System does not allow any organ of state to ‘bail out’ a municipality should they find themselves in this position. This by implication means that a municipality is required by law to adopt a funded budget as per section 18 of the Municipal Finance Management Act,” he said.

According to Godongwana, a funded budget consisted of any financial obligation due by the municipality, which included salary obligations.

In December 2021, Godongwana said the National Treasury did not have the power to take direct measures against defaulting municipalities.

At the time about 25 municipalities were not paying employee contributions to pension funds.

“The powers of the National Treasury are very limited in following up on non-payment by municipalities, and can only intervene via a province in terms of section 139 of the Constitution,” he said.

Previous articleEconomists optimistic about August fuel price relief but caution that economic pressures remain
Next articleLalela Mswane makes history as the first Black woman to win Miss Supranational