ADM out to trim the fat cats

R133m set aside in bid to retrench top earners who do nothing, says manager

The technically bankrupt Amathole District Municipality is preparing to “cut the fat” by getting rid of redundant top earners.
To achieve this, the cash-strapped municipality has set aside R133m, which from next year it will offer as “mutual separation packages” to top managers “who sit around doing nothing”.
These are level 14 to 20 managers who earn between R700,000 to R1.6m per annum.
This was revealed by ADM municipal manager Thandekile Mnyiba in an exclusive interview with the Daily Dispatch.
This is part of Mnyimba’s five-year strategy to turn around the fortunes of the beleaguered municipality.
Council is expected to consider the plan next month.
Mnyimba wants to lower the R745m per year salary bill that has severely compromised service delivery.
He would not say how many top managers they were targeting.
“These are the people we are targeting, the high earners who are actually not adding much value. We wanted as management to do it in one financial year but due to the financial constraints that we have, we couldn’t so we are splitting it over two years,” he said.
For the current 2018-19 financial year, the municipality has budgeted R33m and for 2019-20, it has set aside R100m for the mutual separation packages.
The employees would have to apply for the packages; however management has the prerogative to decline, Mnyimba said.
“We need to be responsible in our approach. We cannot lose expertise, so if we see that this person has expertise we need, we will not approve that.
“When everything is approved by council in December when we come back in January, we will start the process and a notice will be issued,” he said.
The R33m which is budgeted for the current financial year will target about 25% of the salary bill. The municipality spends its entire profit share from national government on salaries.
“Our current structure is something else, bloated at the top and the people who are supposed to be actually doing the job are not there. We do not have artisans and we wonder why we can’t fix leaking pipes.
“We’ve got people in the office who are actually sitting doing nothing and these are top earners and what they are doing does not add value,” Mnyimba said.
In terms of the bargaining council municipal categories, the district municipality is a category six but for some reason pays its employees as a category seven municipality. Mnyimba said the municipality has now contracted a firm to review their structure so as to cut costs and accelerate production...

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