While annual increases for other municipal staff are negotiated at a national level and the municipality has very little control, those of the top six are determined locally during the annual budgeting process. The annual budget is drawn up by these senior officials and the Executive Mayor and presented to Council for their approval on our (the Plett residents’) behalf.
Annual salary increases for other municipal workers were determined at 7% for the financial year 2018/2019.
The annual budget reflects how we residents treated our top six officials financially in the past two financial years and in the current one. Are we good employers?
Cost of Bitou’s Six Senior managers (Municipal Manager, CFO, 4 Heads of Department)
Sub-total for Senior Managers R8,340 R12,955 R29,028
Source: Bitou Multi-year Operating and Capital Budgets, 31 May 2018, pages 60-61.
That is a great deal of money, but it is after all to be shared by six people. The budget does not tell us what proportion of the pot each gets, but for the purposes of this exercise let us assume they each get an equal share.
But first let us look at the total basic salaries and what percentage increase Council gave them on our behalf.
That means our President earns between R 3.17m and R 3.23m this year as against our top-six’s R 3.06m each. Very generous and quite adequate to cover all life’s normal expenses like housing, transport, communications, pension etc.
But, the generosity of the Plettenberg Bay residents and their councillors seemingly knows no bounds and all those pesky little expenses are taken care of by you, equally generously.
Lest the comparatively stingy increase upsets you, let me point out that that amounts to a cool R 7 916 per person per month for a cell phone. The most expensive cell phone contract, which includes a top of the range Apple iPhone and unlimited calls and uncapped data costs R 2 899 per month from MTN and R 2 650 from Vodacom.
Then you increased it by 155% to R12.955m for the year 2017/18 and; now after another 223% increase you gave effective July 2018, you will pay them R29.028m for the financial year 2018/19.
An increase of 348% to bring the individual Total Remuneration Packages of the Bitou Big Six to just shy of R5m each.
CHECKS AND BALANCES.
Is it really possible for a council to be this generous with taxpayers’ money?
Are there no limits to what the Bitou Big Six can be paid?
The Department of Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs determines the upper limits of the TOTAL remuneration packages payable to senior managers in municipal employ.
The latest, notice no. 1092, was published in Government Gazette no. 41173 on 10 October 2017, replacing Gov Gazette no. 40118 of 4 July 2016.
In order to determine the applicable limit to be applied from the supplied tables, municipalities are scored on Gross Municipal Income, Total Population and Equitable Share. Dependent upon their score they fall in one of ten categories each with a different maximum, the lowest being a grade 1 and the highest a grade 10.
The latest table requires that the Maximum Total Remuneration Package for Municipal Managers may not exceed:
Likewise, the Maximum Total Remuneration Package for those managers reporting directly to him may not exceed:
Without accurate figures available it is not possible to make a definite determination for Bitou municipality.
I suspect it is a grade 3.
Therefore, assuming Bitou Municipality is a Grade 3 municipality, the Maximum Total Remuneration Package for the Municipal Manager may not exceed R 1 279 762 and that of his managers (The other 5 of the Big Six) may not exceed R 1 046 101.
LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK – AND WHAT ABOUT THE POOR BURNING TYRES FOR LACK OF SERVICE DELIVERY BY THE BITOU MUNICIPALITY!!!
WE NEED YOUR MEMBERSHIP TO KEEP PUSHING BACK THE WAVE OF CORRUPTION.