FS municipal workers not paid despite commitment

───   LUCKY NKUYANE 14:18 Fri, 29 Oct 2021

FS municipal workers not paid despite commitment | News Article

The Free State provincial government, including Cogta and Treasury, has once again reportedly failed to ensure that workers of the cash-strapped Trompsburg-based Kopanong Local Municipality receive their salaries on Friday.

Frustrated workers at the municipality are yet to receive their salaries after two months, and counting. This is despite a commitment made by the Department of Cogta previously, that workers at the struggling municipality would receive their salaries through the account of the District Municipality of Xhariep, released by Treasury. The financial crises at the municipality have been exacerbated by the frizzing of the account by the Free State High Court over the failure to pay pension fund contributions running into R26 million, stemming from 2012. Both the ANC and Cogta are yet to respond to the OFM News inquiry.

The municipal spokesperson, Solly Phama, confirms to OFM News that the attachment has resulted in the municipality not being able to render its mandate as expected and this has impacted negatively on service delivery.

In February 2021, Samwu's provincial secretary, Tiisetso Mahlatsi, told OFM News that workers who were employed from 2012 were not registered with the provident fund - but that money was being deducted with no contribution made by the municipality. Phama says the attachment has resulted in the municipality not being able to perform its operations as expected.

READ MORE: FS municipality in crisis

The Free State Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) previously told OFM News that it has run out of words to literally describe the situation at the municipality. Samwu's provincial secretary, Tiisetso Mahlatsi, said that rectifying the financial issues, which include the attached account, could take the municipality over a few months to resolve because the issue now involves litigation. Mahlatsi said the leadership of the municipality, including the provincial government, has failed to deal with issues of municipalities such as Kopanong, which owe their workers’ pension fund a whopping R26 million, stemming from 2012.

READ MORE: Kopanong financial woes could exacerbate further

Up to date, no official at the Kopanong Local Municipality has been brought to book to account for the crises at the municipality.

Instead, the ANC's Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) spokesperson, Oupa Khoabane, told OFM News that the ANC cannot micromanage issues of municipalities.

READ MORE: FS ANC blames lack of leadership at Kopanong

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