The CEO of WESGRO, an ex-DA politician called Tim Harris, has received a 20% increase and a 20% bonus. That means an extra R927,000, paid by the taxpayers. He will earn R3.1-million, more than the President. MEC Finance David Maynier, ranked #4 on the DA’s provincial list, knew about this, and approved WESGRO’s budget, which included an overall 30% increase for the organisation.
At this point, I request that you insert your thoughts about our economic situation during covid-19. If you’re a member of our collapsed tourist industry, it will be a long time before you continue reading…
Because of this questionable situation and other facts exposed by the GOOD party, I have to eat some my criticism of them. Let’s call it my Tuesday humble pie – I won’t eat all of it but at least two slices. I hope it’s peach, brandy and cream flavour, something from the soul of the Western Cape. But considering the state we’re in, it’s probably gonna taste like tik and drought-dried grapes.
I’m skeptical of Patricia de Lille, and a passionate detractor of her ex-ID friend, Georlene Wolmarans. De Lille’s formation of the GOOD party seemed to be more for her than the Public. However, after De Lille oddly got promoted to Minister Public Works, she seems to have done a decent job there. Outside of the DA, she hasn’t had a scandal – maybe that tells us something about the DA.
It’s not enough for me to trust her but she left a gap in the Western Cape which has been admirably filled.
Brett Herron, Secretary-General of GOOD, has been on a vigorous mission to make the GOOD party known. Instead of doing it through the usual hollow marketing that I despise, he’s been investigating corruption and maladministration – in 10 years I’ve been an activist, that’s a first. His press releases on the GOOD website have been interesting. Some of the Southern Cape ones relate to issues I’ve been pursuing.
Yesterday, he addressed a topic close to another I’ve pursued for 10 years.
DA-allied tourism companies would set themselves up as Section 21 companies and, without tender, receive millions in funding to do Government’s job. Then DA councillors, in conflict of interest, would sit on the Board of Directors. In Knysna, private business would receive contracts from the deceptively named Knysna Tourism, also without needing to tender. It was a system ripe for abuse. Then WESGRO took over, forced by Premier Alan Winde who knew about the previous crime but refused to do anything about it.
WESGRO is now responsible for the marketing of most of the province’s towns. They’re suspicious in that its CEO, Tim Harris, is an ex-DA politician. He used to develop their economic policies and was the Chief of Staff for ex-DA Leader Tony Leon. In turn, Resolve Communications, Leon’s company, received communications contracts from the City of Cape Town.
One board member has resigned in protest at Harris’ pay. Another quit, claiming interference by Maynier.
Here’s that statement by Brett Herron, a member of the provincial legislature and #2 in the GOOD party.
MAYNIER KNEW ABOUT PROPOSED REMUNERATION INCREASE, ALLOWING FOR FORMER DA MP TIM HARRIS TO EARN MORE THAN PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA, BEFORE IT WAS EVEN TABLED TO THE WESGRO BOARD
6 July 2020
In March 2020, the MEC for Finance in the Western Cape, Minister David Maynier, published a draft budget for the province. Included in that was a more than 30% increase in the funding for WESGRO, the State-Owned Enterprise funded by DA governments in Cape Town and the Western Cape.
I raised my concerns about these and other huge increases for salaries, but the DA approved Maynier’s budget anyway.
A whistle-blower alleged that the CEO of WESGRO, former DA MP Tim Harris, was then in line for a remuneration increase of more than 80%, but following my enquiries and concerns on the WESGRO ballooning budget, that increase was reduced to 20% – plus a large 20% bonus.
The MEC for Finance, David Maynier confirmed that Harris will receive an increase of R427 000 – not the R700,000 alleged by some sources – but that he is also now also entitled to a more than R500,000 bonus.
MEC Maynier’s confirmation on the increase and bonus means that Harris is entitled to a total package of more than R3.1 million this financial year. This is more than the President of South Africa earns.
During my enquiries on this matter in March and April, I asked MEC Maynier if he had been consulted on the increase and he said he had “not been consulted”.
However, in the same reply Maynier admitted that the Chairman of the Board did ‘inform’ him “of the proposed revised salary and bonus that was scheduled to be tabled at the Board meeting on 20 March 2020.”
Maynier drafted the budget and approved the increases necessary to fund Harris’s multi-million Rand salary and, by his own admission, was informed ahead of time that this salary and bonus was to be tabled to the WESGRO board.
Maynier not only knew about the increase before the WESGRO board approved it, but he drafted and approved the budget to allow for such an increase.
I welcome the commitment by the Western Cape’s multi-party Standing Committee on the Finance, Economic Opportunities and Tourism to look in to these budget allocations and increases at a meeting scheduled for the 17 July.
Government must reduce exorbitant spending and I will call on the Western Cape government to stop these ridiculous increases for its cadre deployees.
South Africa is in a crisis and the huge and ballooning allocations of taxes to SOEs are despicable.