THE salaries of 70 senior managers in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality who have been mistakenly overpaid by more than R40-million over the past three years will be slashed this month.
This comes after the SA Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) in February ruled in favour of the municipality, which allowed acting municipal manager Themba Hani to correct overpayments to the staff.
Hani gave the go- ahead last month for the corporate services department to correct the overpayments, which have cost ratepayers about R500000 a month.
The directors and assistant directors were mistakenly included in the implementation of pay parity for municipal staff from Uitenhage and Despatch in 2010, backdated to July 2009.
This was after the staff from Uitenhage and Despatch complained they were being paid less than their Port Elizabeth counterparts with similar job descriptions, following the formation of the Nelson Mandela Bay metro in 2000.
Senior managers were not necessarily eligible for the allowance and it is believed they "jumped on the bandwagon" and had their salaries inflated, according to a human resources report presented at a committee meeting in July.
Some are being overpaid by as much as R20000 each per month. Hani on August 31 instructed the executive director of corporate services to "please effect the management team decision of April 10 2012 immediately and report monthly in writing".
He was responding to a letter from the then acting executive director, Ayanda Ngcebetsha, who wanted an instruction on the way forward.
The management team decision of April 10 stated "that the acting municipal manager implement steps to correct overpayments to the affected directors and assistant directors in respect of pay parity".
In July, councillors at a human resources portfolio committee meeting heard that the overpayments were not corrected despite an instruction from former acting municipal manager Elias Ntoba that the corrections be implemented by July last year.
The implementation of the corrections was stalled after the directors and assistant directors lodged a dispute with the CCMA. Their dispute was based on their interpretation of the pay parity agreement, as well as the change to the terms and conditions of employment.
The CCMA ruled in favour of the municipality and the affected staff did not indicate if they would call for a review of the case. According to Ngcebetsha's letter to Hani, which The Herald has seen, the municipality's legal advisers do not believe that the staff have demonstrated sufficient grounds to prevent the enforcement of the SALGBC's decision.
Acting executive director for corporate services Roslyn van Greunen confirmed yesterday that Hani had instructed that the pay parity corrections be made.
"The corrections will be reflected on the September payslips. At this stage, the implementation specifically deals with the correcting of the overpayments to affected directors and assistant directors and not the recovery thereof," she said.