eThekwini pays nearly R14 million in one month on overtime

Issued by Cllr. Mzamo Billy – DA eThekwini Councillor
16 Feb 2022 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find an attached soundbite by Cllr. Mzamo Billy

The DA in eThekwini has written to the Head of the Department of Cleansing and Solid Waste, Raymond Rampersad, the Deputy City Manager responsible for this cluster, Sbusiso Makhanya, as well as the Acting City Manager, Musa Mbhele, to provide an explanation for what appears to be an exorbitant overtime payment.

An amount of R14 million in overtime payment was made for work done in November 2021 alone, according to a report on Cleansing and Solid Waste Performance and Monitoring for December 2021. It was presented at the Human Settlement and Infrastructure Committee meeting held on the 1st February 2022. Almost R10 million was paid to operational employees to keep the city clean.

In our view, this is completely unacceptable, irregular and simply unjustifiable.

It is common knowledge that the Cleansing and Solid Waste Unit continues to experience ongoing challenges which include vehicle shortages, limited landfill sites and non-distribution and collection of black and orange refuse bags. This report shows that a disappointing 15,74% of black bags were delivered in December. It is evident that this money used for overtime can be better used to enhance other priorities.

It is also indisputable that this additional spending hasn’t changed the fact that service delivery and waste collection remains a huge problem for the residents of the city. Instead of ensuring that the city is clean, the overtime system seeks to foster a flawed incentive structure which is clearly bloating the cost of keeping the city clean.

Furthermore, the report reveals that the unit has seen historic cases of sick leave taken by employees in the month of December costing the city an amount of R725 635.25.

The report concedes that there is a possibility that sick leave may be open to abuse. This is totally unacceptable as it could be the reason for the increased need for overtime.

We have therefore asked for the reasons for the overtime, how is it funded and the plans to curb this behaviour and ensure that the crucial work of keeping the city clean is done during normal working hours to save the taxpayers’ money that should be used on other projects.