FF + said new Mayor and staff earning fat salaries

File picture.

“Mogale City’s precarious financial status is [right] back where it was. The situation is even more dire with the decision to permanently appoint all ANC political staff instead of filling the more than 100 critical service delivery vacancies,” said Councillor Amanda de Lange of the Freedom Front Plus.

“A large number of these appointees are receiving excessively high salaries that are not market-related and very few of the appointees possess the necessary or required qualifications.”

De Lange said it is ridiculous of the ANC to permanently appoint political staff in this manner while it is common knowledge that every political party is entitled to its own staff when in charge.

“The appointments are absurd and the excessive number of almost 70 political staff members in the office of the Mayor and Speaker is unnecessary, wasteful expenditure and a show of nepotism.”

Read more: New appointments within local council

She further stated that records show about 10 of these appointees receive more than R1 million per year.

“These issues were addressed when the coalition came into power last year, but as soon as the ANC regained power via the back door in July, they ensured their own people and pockets received first attention again,” said De Lange.

“Mogale City’s critical service delivery departments are paralysed by the lack of the required staff complements that are trained and qualified to fulfill the increasing service delivery needs. The electrical and water infrastructure departments are completely under-equipped [in terms of] vehicles and equipment, and of the current vehicles, many are not roadworthy or in usable condition.”

De Lange questioned the number of people appointed to specifically render services in the different wards, apart from the usual ward councillors and proportional councillors. Every ward now also has a communication officer and a development worker as well. In an effort to save costs during the coalition’s reign, these positions were limited and wards clustered to save costs and because there are already councillors to serve the communities.

“The coalition made a huge effort to cut back on the over-expenditure in the budget in order to ensure service providers got paid after months of non-payment by the previous ANC-[ruled municipality]. It is crucial to ensure a sustainable and effective financial and economic development plan for Mogale City to grow whilst service delivery is not compromised and the town does not end up bankrupt.

“As chairperson of the municipal public accounts committee, I will ensure proper investigation and oversight into irregular and irresponsible expenditure of public funds,” said De Lange.

“We will not hesitate to hold ANC officials and personnel responsible if implicated. Mogale City belongs to the people, not the ANC.”

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Janine Viljoen

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