Municipal Manager’s three per cent bonus to cost Mogale another R16m

Photo: Buzz South Africa. For illustrative purposes.

The DA in Mogale City has claimed that the residents of the town are still paying for a decision made by Dan Mashitisho, the former Municipal Manager, in 2015 to award himself and his cronies, the municipality’s Executive Managers, a three per cent ex gratia bonus for achieving a clean audit, and called it a unilateral decision.

Having set a precedent at the time, the Mogale City Municipality must now pay another R16 million in bonuses following another clean audit.

“The clean audit for the 2013/ 2014 financial year provided an excuse for elite ANC officials to get additional bonuses to the value of approximately R50 000 each,” said Lynn Pannall, a DA councillor.

“For the rest of the staff, bonus payments to the upper levels were a travesty, as they [at lower levels] had also contributed to the clean audit. Cornered by the unions, the former manager, agreed to cascade the 3 per cent bonus downward, at a cost of R10 000 million. It would be paid between August and November 2016.”

On 12 January 2016, Calvin Seerane, the former Mayor, and Leslie Mahuma, his Chief Financial Officer, authorised the bonus payments for the Executive Managers. No report was ever compiled on the bonus proposal, nor was it ever served in a council meeting.

Also Read: Municipal employees get their bonus

Legislation would, at the very least, require the submission of a payment requisition and supporting documents to the Budget Department. These, as well as any form of accountability, have been conspicuously absent.

Mashitisho had now set a precedent and built expectations. Faced with labour unrest and violent protests flowing from the unfulfilled bonus agreement, the DA-led coalition that was in office at the time was forced to pay the workers these bonuses. Payment took place on 15 December 2016, and the matter was then closed.

However, after the ANC regained power in Mogale City, the unions demanded a second 3 per cent bonus in August 2017, for the clean audit obtained in 2014/ 2015. They had been negotiating with the ANC-led council. They publicly rejected the ANC’s offer of an additional eight-days’ leave in lieu of the 3 per cent bonus. Notwithstanding, they both maintained that the former Municipal Manager’s commitment applied to the new clean audit.

On 27 September, the second agreement for a 3 per cent ex gratia bonus for all staff was served before Council by the ANC for approval.

The DA held that the initial bonus was a once-off payment and that it did not extend to all clean audits, an opinion not agreed with by the ANC. In light of the unlawfulness of the proposal, the DA abstained from voting on the matter.

Mogale City citizens will now foot an additional bill of R16 million for the ANC’s long-standing “bonus promise”. Needless to say, this money could be better spent ensuring that the supplying of electricity and water to the people of Mogale City goes ahead uninterrupted.

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  AUTHOR
Bianca Pindral
Journalist

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