Yesterday, Die Burger dropped a bomb on the Western Cape’s claim to good governance and austerity with an article entitled ‘Verdien ‘Miljoene te Veel’ (‘Earning Millions too Much’). They were referring to the fact that the majority of Municipal Managers have been awarded salaries far in excess of what they are suppose to receive according to national guidelines.
In Eden District, where many of my readers stay, these are the amounts in excess of good governance:
- Bitou’s Municipal Manager – R565 000
- George’s Municipal Manager – R231 000
- Hessequa’s Municipal Manager – R234 000
- Kannaland’s Municipal Manager – R434 000
- Knysna’s Municipal Manager – R204 000
- Mosselbay’s Municipal Manager -R320 000
- Oudtshoorn’s Municipal Manager – unavailable
Eden District’s Godfrey Louw was over too, by R303 000. Embattled Oudtshoorn’s figure was unavailable but an unconfirmed source estimated Ronnie Lottering’s salary at R900 000 p/a (that’s for a town with only 60 000 inhabitants). Bitou’s Allen Paulse topped the red list by earning R565 000 more than allowed.
Emphasising the outrageous salaries that these public servants are receiving in areas hard hit by recession is that, collectively, they earn approximately R17 million to manage a population of only 574 000, the size of a small city.
DA MEC Anton Bredell has requested an investigation but outrage after the fact should be treated with suspicion i.e. the DA was well aware of salary problems and, in Knysna, even refused to acknowledge acceptance of a public petition against salary increases. Knysna’s Lauren Waring apparently earns more than what Die Burger has mention so it must be inquired whether perks are included.
This merely opens a window into financial mismanagement and greed. If the Municipal Manager’s are in the hot seat, it is likely that Municipal Directors may be as well. After all, in Knysna (population 69 000) there are 6 staff allegedly earning over R1million packages.
For further reading:
NB: The Western Cape responded this afternoon. You can read their press release here.