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Salaries for incompetent staff add to Ditsobotla Municipality’s debt, Scopa told

It’s one of the struggling municipalities in the North West which has been placed under provincial administration.

FILE: Picture: Facebook.com.

CAPE TOWN - Salaries for incompetent staff and a hostile community refusing to pay for services are contributing to the Ditsobotla Municipality in the North West drowning in debt.

It’s one of the struggling municipalities in that province which has been placed under provincial administration.

EWN revealed in May that the Hawks is investigating corruption at the municipality.

On Wednesday, the acting municipal manager seconded to the council, told Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) that it owes Eskom R305 million, but its collection rate is less than 50%.

Residents are blocking municipal officials from checking their meters, they have burned down the homes of councillors and have also set the council chambers up in flames.

Only two weeks in the job, acting municipal manager Jay-Jay Moipolai is not mincing his words.

“When you do your analysis, you realise that the majority of our headcount is not fit for purpose. There’s this over-reliance on consultants because the people that we have cannot do the work.”

The R14 million a month salary bill makes up 35% of its operational expenses.

It also has a high overtime bill even though there’s no money to buy materials or equipment to deliver services.

Moipolai has also revealed the municipality has a R40 million South African Revenue Services’ bill for not paying Pay as You Earn for its 165 employees.

‘LACK OF COMMITMENT FROM STAFF MEMBERS’

The troubles facing North West municipalities have been laid bare in Parliament.

A meeting to discuss why municipalities are not paying Eskom has revealed overpaid, bloated staffing structures with incompetent employees.

Two of the province’s municipalities rank in the top 10 councils which owe the parastatal billions.

The Naledi Municipality seated in Vryburg owes Eskom R274 million.

Municipal manager Tshepo Bloom says the municipality is seriously overspending on capital projects.

It also can’t afford its fire, traffic and library services.

Bloom has also questioned the commitment of municipal employees, 80% of whom he says are overpaid.

The municipality is spending R1 million a month on their car allowances alone.

“We have got a serious problem of a lack of commitment from staff members. I know this statement might be career limiting, but my colleagues are more politicians than administrators.”

Bloom says residents are not prepared to pay their bills because they only receive an intermittent water supply from the district municipality which is responsible for water and sanitation.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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