Put a hold on municipal salary increases

OUTA calls on CoGTA Minister to place a moratorium on municipal salary increases, as councils across the country budget for increases during the economic crisis.

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25/05/2020 07:35:22

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Put a hold on municipal salary increases 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Every day, businesses are closing down across South Africa and millions of citizens will lose their jobs or have their salaries cut, due to the unfolding economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Homeowners and businesses struggle to pay their rates and taxes, yet public servants see fit to carry on as if nothing has happened and are expecting to have their salaries increased in the coming year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “These salary increases will be passed on to property owners in the form of municipal property rates and tariff hikes, which simply cannot be tolerated in today’s economic crisis,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO. “Even before the coronavirus arrived in March 2020, most municipalities were defunct and in financial distress as a result of mismanagement and poor leadership.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OUTA wrote to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on 22 May 2020, to ask that she uses her powers to apply a moratorium on all local government salary increases.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “While we understand there are wage bargaining councils, unions and agreements involved in the public servant salary increase process, these are not normal times and agreements can be renegotiated or changed in a time of crisis,” says Duvenage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Residents, businesses and communities are the biggest stakeholders in municipalities, and are the ones who have to carry these rising costs. Municipal salaries and the cost of contractors to whom the municipalities outsource much of the municipal work have increased above inflation over the past decade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “In the real world of businesses and families, if you don't have the money to pay salaries, let alone salary increases, you simply can’t. What amazes us is that the authorities within the public service continue to operate as if there is no economic crisis out there,” says Duvenage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A copy of OUTA’s letter to Minister Dlamini-Zuma is here


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Picture: OUTA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OUTA is a proudly South African civil action organisation, that is purely crowd funded. Our work is supported by ordinary citizens who are passionate about holding government accountable and ensuring our taxes are used to the benefit of all South Africans.