MEC Motsepe sidesteps issue of unbudgeted salary increases in Greater Tzaneen

Desiree van der Walt MPL

DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Local Government

The Democratic Alliance notes with dismay the inconsistencies contained in the response by COGSTA MEC Mr. Clifford Mostspe to our Member’s Statement on the issue of unbudgeted salary increases at the Greater Tzaneen Municipality.

During 30 April 2013, the DA read a member’s statement in the Legislature which urged the MEC to investigate the unbudgeted salary increases to officials of Greater Tzaneen Municipality which ran into millions at the costs of available funds for service delivery. The decision by the Municipality to up the salaries was taken in the latter part of last year.

The MEC’s response is rather unconvincing and full of inconsistencies.

According to MEC Motsepe own response, he cites a memorandum of understanding which was generated and meant for “three municipalities targeted for benchmarking, namely, Stellenbosch municipality, Drakenstein municipality and Newcastle municipality.”

The MEC must still explain how the processes at these municipalities were superimposed on the Greater Tzaneen municipality without following due process.

The MEC further alleges that the DA Councillors “present and party to the agreements” that effected these unbudgeted increments.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Being present at the meeting proves exactly that and nothing more. We need to place it categorically clear that the DA Councillors voted against the decision to increase salaries of municipal officials which were already exorbitant.

We stand firm on our view that this amount, R17 million according to the MEC, could have been utilised for service delivery. This amount, an afterthought,  was not initially costed when Council took this resolution.