The City of Tshwane has reportedly identified as many as 1,400 ‘ghost workers’ – illegally drawing monthly salaries from the municipality.
Head administrator Mpho Nawa told Pretoria News that the corrupt scheme was uncovered as part of the municipality’s Expanded Public Works Programme.
As a result, the City of Tshwane has decided to withhold the salaries of 7,000 employees, pending a verification process.
“Obviously the money would have to be recouped from those responsible for such corruption,” Nawa said.
The revelation has drawn the ire of the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu).
It said that in March 2020 the MEC for Cogta in Gauteng, Lebohang Maile dissolved the City of Tshwane Municipal Council through Section 139 and subsequently deployed a team of administrators to among other things assist in restoring the legislature and the executive of the City of Tshwane.
The team was further given a mandate to ensure provision of services to residents of the City of Tshwane, it said.
“Over a period of time we as Samwu in Tshwane noted with serious concern deteriorating labour relations regime in the City of Tshwane,” it said. “This comedy or errors became open when administrators started having an appetite not to implement signed collective agreements.”
The union said that challenges experienced by workers in the last four weeks include the following:
- Non-payment of salary increase;
- Sabotaging payment of benchmarking payments;
- Unlawful withholding of 7,000 employee salaries.
“Municipal workers in Tshwane can no longer tolerate the presence of the administrators. If there is anything they have managed to do successful and without fail in the City is to frustrate workers and make life for them a living hell,” Samwu said.
It called on the MEC for Cogta in Gauteng to recall the administrators. “We are if the view that they have failed in the tasks which they had been deployed to the City for,” it said.