SAMWU Disgusted at Municipal Managers’ Salary Increases

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) is disgusted at reports that municipal managers and directors will be receiving highly inflated salary increases, with some receiving over 40% salary increase.

We believe that the Department of Traditional Affairs and Cooperative Governance (COGTA) deliberately waited for us to conclude our salary and wage negotiations with SALGA before they could announce the exponential and unjustifiable salary increases that municipal managers and senior managers stand to receive.

When municipal workers demand living and decent wages, we are conveniently told that municipalities do not have money for such increases, yet when municipal managers get exponential increases, that argument does not work. Municipal workers demand to be treated fairly after all they are the people who are responsible for the delivery of services.

SAMWU believes that the huge wage bill that the National Treasury Minister recently complained about is as a result of these salaries given to senior management in municipalities, people who are clueless about service delivery.

While addressing our 11th National Congress, Minister Pravin Gordon promised to ensure that there would be a ceiling on the salaries received by municipal managers.

We are disturbed and disappointed that the Minister has gone back on his word and is now allowing practices which will ultimately lead to the crippling of municipalities to happen under his watch. We urge the Minister to stick to his words, ensure that municipalities are financially viable.

We further urge the minister to revisit the determination of upper limits, which is used to determine municipal managers’ salaries, as this has created huge disparities between workers.

We are particularly concerned that the King Sabata Dalinyebo Municipality has and continues to pay its municipal manager and senior managers more than determined by COGTA. This is a clear sign that COGTA does not have clear monitoring mechanisms on these issues.

We have not forgotten about the municipal manager of Emfuleni Local Municipality - one of the poorest municipalities in Gauteng being the highest paid state employees in South Africa, with a salary of over R3.5 million while workers in his municipality are struggling.

We believe that should this practice continue, it would undermine service delivery as municipalities continue to plead poverty when they have to hire people who will take South Africa forward thorough the delivery of services.

The huge salaries given to municipal managers and other senior managers cannot be justified by anyone including COGTA, this happens on the backdrop of municipalities exploiting people through EPWP programmes.

It is for this reason that SAMWU will continue push the decent jobs and decent wages agenda by campaign for the permanent employment of EPWP workers directly by municipalities and the stop to the outsourcing of municipal services.

Issued by SAMWU Head Office