Payment Of Scarce Skills Allowance To Senior Managers In Bitou Municipality

7 October 2020

Department of Local Government

Western Cape

Dear MEC Bredell

The Plettenberg Bay Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (‘the PBRRA’) is the applicant in proceedings, brought on behalf of its constituency, for recovery of amounts paid to senior officials in the Bitou Municipality in excess of the maximum levels prescribed by regulation.

You are cited as the second respondent since the statutory enactment setting the ceiling is subject to supervision and control by you. Included in your statutory mandate is a duty to insist on returns by the municipality showing precisely what each of the applicable senior officials has been receiving.

The details of the claim emerge from the founding papers in Labour Court case 201/2020, with which, of course, you as respondent were served. An appearance to defend has been entered by none of the respondents and application for judgment by default is accordingly being sought. The matter is set down for hearing in the Labour Court in Cape Town on 10 November 2020.

In the Notice of Motion, the PBRRA seeks an order requiring the Bitou Municipality to determine and report back on the precise amounts that each senior official must repay. The Court is, by way of a further prayer, invited to prescribe the instalments by means of which the repayments should be effected (if they are not to be paid instanter).

We anticipate that the Court will look to you for assistance on the relief being sought. It will be surprised, we suggest, should you decline to provide it: we in no sense seek to be presumptuous by pointing out that, in bringing this application, the PBRRA has been performing a duty that might best have been discharged by you.

We invite you, therefore, to file an affidavit in the proceedings:

·       setting out by how much, over the three years prior to the launch of the application, the senior officials in question were overpaid

·       indicating what amount is recoverable by way of interest.

·       proposing, if you consider this appropriate, the instalment rate at which the repayments should be made.

The information you need for the purpose is peculiarly within your possession. If you provide us with it, we will happily suggest a draft the requisite affidavit should you want this assistance.

Needless to say, time is of the essence. Please let us have your response by no later than Wednesday 14 October 2020 so that we can secure the filing of the affidavit by no later than the following Tuesday.

Kind regards,

Peter Gaylard