DESPITE the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality making provision in its 2012/13 budget for an average employee salary hike of 6%, acting municipal manager Themba Hani’s proposed annual salary is taking a 13.5% jump to just shy of R2-million.
The salary hikes of municipal managers around the country were yesterday lambasted by the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu), which called them exorbitant.
According to reports, Tshwane city manager Jason Ngobeni and Johannesburg city manager Trevor Fowler are set to earn R3.25-million and R3.23-million a year from July 1, after receiving annual increases of more than R500000 each.
In comparison, President Jacob Zuma earns about R2.5-million a year, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe gets about R2.2-million and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is paid R2.23-million a year.
Samwu is in the process of negotiating 2012/13 pay increases of 13% for union members, although yesterday Bay chief financial officer Selwyn Thuys told councillors anything over the budgeted 6% increase would "impact on the filling of critical vacancies”.
Samwu spokesman Tahir Sema said yesterday it was "ridiculous that these managers get paid millions, even though the municipalities they work for are plagued with corruption, nepotism, crisis and the poor delivery of services”.
"The severity of the challenges faced by many municipalities warrants many of these managers to be sacked, let alone receive handsome remunerations and performance bonuses. Once workers learn their city manager receives such a hefty salary, we can expect nothing less than outrage, given that in some municipalities the lowest-paid workers get as little as R3000.”
Hani’s proposed 13.5% salary hike is well below the R2.4-million quoted in the City Press at the weekend. The article incorrectly stated his salary was to jump 68%, from "about R1.4-million” in 2011/12.
Bay municipal spokesman Kupido Baron said Hani’s annual salary was to increase from R1.7-million – R500000 of which is an accommodation and travel allowance for being based away from his East London home – to a proposed R1.939-million from July 1. "However ... it is still subject to approval.”
However, Hani’s replacement might be ready by July 1. A multi- party interview panel is already screening candidates for a new municipal manager. The post has been vacant since Advocate Graham Richards left the position in 2009.