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Employees of the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality are bearing the brunt of cash-flow issues due to nonpayment of services and continued vandalism of electrical infrastructure

Employees of the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality in eastern Free State are not receiving their salaries as usual this month, but have been assured they will be reimbursed in staggered payments.

A notice from the municipality issued on Monday stated the municipality found itself in a difficult cash flow position due to nonpayment of services and continued vandalism of electrical infrastructure.

“We are therefore unable to pay employees and councillors on November 23. Employees will be paid according to their post-level categories, starting from post-level 15 upwards. We apologise for the inconvenience caused. Thanking you in advance,” read the notice.

Municipal spokesperson Thabo Kessah said salaries would be paid.

“The only difference is that salary payments will be categorised according to levels and will be paid on different days until November 30,” he said.

The notice has angered political organisations, with the DA councillor in the municipality Alison Oates warning that finances in the municipality were running dry.

“The latest financial reports made available to the finance section 80 committee are from the first month of the financial year, July 2022. Even then it was obvious a crisis was looming. The DA warned in June that the budget was unrealistic and illegal. The budget was eventually accepted on the promise that all political parties would support a financial recovery plan. Regrettably this did not occur,” said Oates.

She said the municipality was unable to manage its finances, which has resulted in a breakdown in community service delivery and deteriorating infrastructure in the area.

“As the cost of living has affected millions across the nation, it is ridiculous that mismanagement has led to hardship across the poorest areas of this already struggling country,” she said.

Oates said the DA would continue its vigorous financial oversight and push for the council to grasp its financial duties.

The ANC in the municipality said it wasn’t shocked by the notice that the municipality would not be able to pay its workers on time.

“This municipality is on its knees under MAP16 coalition government. It cannot meet its financial obligations. The ANC blames poor, corrupt and incompetent leadership of the coalition government in the municipality,” said ANC councillor Mandlenkosi Dlamini.

Dlamini said they warned the council about the ridiculous and unrealistic budget presented by the mayor earlier in 2022. He said municipal workers had to suffer because huge amounts of money were paid to ghost service providers.

The party called for the executive mayor to give full explanations and reports on why workers were not paid on time, who the paid service providers were, and which services they were providing.

“This municipality receives quarterly funds from government, Where are these funds if the municipality fails to pay workers?” asked Dlamini.

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