Home News Umsobomvu Municipality probe reveals unlawful appointments and irregular salaries

Umsobomvu Municipality probe reveals unlawful appointments and irregular salaries

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“Disciplinary action should be instituted against the person/s who permitted the unlawful appointment and irregular expenditure of the remuneration paid, namely the municipal manager and the corporate services manager.”

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THE MANAGER in the Office of the Mayor at Umsobomvu Municipality, Stanford Smith, received R61,734.08 in excess of what he should be paid.

An investigation was launched at Umsobomvu Municipality after the community submitted a petition calling for a probe into why his salary was continually increasing.

His second contract commenced on December 1, 2016 and will expire on November 20, 2021, where he was paid R540,000 per annum or R45 000 per month.

The investigation report stated that the corporate services manager and municipal manager had explained that Smith’s remuneration package was reviewed and adjusted according to the salary package of the chief operations officer, which was negotiated at a higher rate.

“Smith was therefore paid R700,000 per annum with effect from September 2019 where his contract was not amended with the increased salary package. Only a memorandum was given by the corporate services manager to the salaries section as a notification of the increase.”

The report pointed out that the municipality did not have an approved criteria to establish the salary levels of these contract positions as they were not on senior management level nor at the bargaining unit agreement level.

“The municipality has also not done a job evaluation of the post to substantiate the salary level. We could also not find any evidence of benchmarking with other and or similar municipalities to establish salaries of such posts. The municipality did not revise the employment agreement of Mr Smith with the adjusted salary from R540,000 to R700,000 per annum.”

It was recommended that the salary should be measured against set criteria and subjected to a proper job evaluation process where the differences should either be recouped or adjusted accordingly.

“The municipality must put criteria in place and perform job evaluations for salaries of contract appointments that do not resort under senior managers or the bargaining council agreement. Disciplinary action should be instituted against the person/s who permitted the unlawful appointment and irregular expenditure of the remuneration paid, namely the municipal manager and the corporate services manager.

The investigation also found that the salary of a general worker at the municipality, Kholeka Pololo, had increased from R6,829.58 to R11,570.75 per month after she was appointed as an administrative assistant after she requested to be transferred due to medical problems.

It was advised that the salary was not put through the approved criteria and job evaluation process.

In October 2016, the housing officer Lungile Majuba’s salary jumped from R10,777.58 to R21,965.96, while in November 2016 he received R25,150.23 along with a 7.5 percent increase that was awarded in July 2017.

“The municipality explained that Majuba was appointed on May 1, 2015 as a housing officer on a salary of R9,347.33 per month. The municipality advertised the position of special programmes officers in the Office of the Mayor and Majuba was appointed to that position on October 10, 2016 on a salary of R25,233.57. On July 1, 2017, Majuba received a cost of living increase of 7.36 percent – adjusting his salary from R302,802.78 to R325,089 per annum.”

It was found that no approved criteria or job evaluation processes were conducted to justify the salary increases.

It was recommended that disciplinary action be taken against the municipal manager and the corporate services manager for the unlawful appointment and that the irregular expenditure.

The report did not make any findings regarding mayor Mzwandile Toto’s remuneration package as it did not find any discrepancies.