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DA accuses Gariep Municipal Manager of enjoying 'Fat Cat' salary while municipality crumbles

DA accuses Gariep Municipal Manager of enjoying 'Fat Cat' salary while municipality crumbles

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape has accused Municipal Manager of the cash-strapped Gariep Local Municipality, Thembinkosi Mawonga, of enjoying a salary of R1,38 million at the cost of service delivery to the local community.

“Mr Mawonga resides in Bloemfontein, 250 kilometres away.

“Due to this, his time at the local municipal office is almost non-existent, he seldom responds to emails and the Gariep community is severely disadvantaged as Mr Mawonga does not prioritise service delivery,” says Marina Van Zyl, DA Caucus Leader: Gariep Local Municipality.

She said in the adopted Municipal budget for 2014/2015, Mawonga earns this whopping salary just for managing his 5 wards, the same salary that the Municipal Manager for the most recently classified Metropolitan Municipality, Buffalo City, receives for managing 50 wards.

“According to the Goverment Gazette of 29 March 2014, No 225, a municipality of this size offers three possible remuneration packages for the Municipal Manager. They start at R661 990, improve to R735 540 and have a maximum cap of R809 100. Even at the maximum, Mawonga enjoys half a million rand more than stipulated,” Van Zyl says.

“Why is this permissible and overlooked by the ANC in the province? Is it due to the fact that he is just another high profile cadre deployment?”

This is not the first time that the DA raised alarm at the Gariep Local Municipality.

In November 2011, the party called for the Mayor, Chief Financial Officer and Mawonga to be suspended for financial mismanagement which it said included the municipality going over its overdraft limit of R5 million to R7,4 million without the knowledge of the council.

Dorah Matikinca, Shadow MEC for Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs, is expected to the the matter to the Eastern Cape MEC for Local Government, Fikile Xasa.