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The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Xhariep District Municipality is appalled that the district council has, from 2017 to 2023, erroneously overpaid several senior managers by a staggering R5,848,342.00 while municipalities across the district are grappling with financial challenges.
The justification given by the administration for the overpayments is that some officials were earning salaries on par with those of senior management.
The advertised recruitment process for senior managers strictly adhered to the prescribed remuneration limits. Nevertheless, the council, with the consent of the Executive Mayor, entered into contracts with various senior managers that offered salaries exceeding the stipulated upper limits.
While an application was sent to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs of South Africa (CoGTA) seeking a waiver on these conditions, no response was received. Additionally, it has come to our attention that no application was made for a waiver in the appointment of the current Chief Financial Officer, who was appointed under the same circumstances as other Directors, receiving a salary that still exceeds the upper limits.
Without the Minister of CoGTA's approval, the council now finds itself burdened with Irregular Expenditure amounting to more than R5 million, primarily due to the inept behaviour of officials who show little regard for the law.
This matter has been formally referred to the Disciplinary Board. Additionally, we will write to the Minister of CoGTA to investigate our findings. The DA is committed to closely monitoring the proceedings. We are determined to ensure accountability and rectify the damage caused by this overpayment scandal.
Issued by Ian Riddle - DA Councillor Mohokare Local Municipality