Salary freeze for four months at Amathole municipality

11 January 2021 - 08:28
The Amathole municipality's non-payment of salaries will affect 1,670 people.
The Amathole municipality's non-payment of salaries will affect 1,670 people.
Image: Picture: 123RF/ANDRIY POPOV

The Amathole municipality in the Eastern Cape will not be able to pay salaries to councillors, traditional leaders and all staff for four months beginning in February due to strained financial resources.

The non-payment of salaries will affect 1,670 people.

In a circular signed by municipal manager Thandekile Mnyimba and dated January 7, he said there a number of factors that have contributed to the financial situation in the municipality.

He said the municipality collected less than 25% revenue in the first two quarters of the 2020/21 financial year, and drought and the Covid-19 pandemic has further strained the financial resources.

Mnyimba said the overall salary bill consumed the entire equitable share allocation from National Treasury, which was meant for municipal operations and service delivery projects.

The Daily Dispatch said the “unsustainable” bank overdrafts the municipality tended to rely on in the past have dried up.

The newspaper said the scandal-plagued municipality has lurched from one crisis to the next since it became a grade seven municipality. The process had detrimental cost implications for the local authority, with salaries shooting through the stratosphere for senior managers and middle management.

The SA Municipal Workers’ Union described the circular as “unprecedented”, saying it “creates panic and uncertainty”.

Mnyimba told eNCA staff needed to report for duty throughout the period as their salaries would be back paid once the district received funds.