Several seats in Eastern Cape municipalities have been identified as ‘distressed’ and in need of a national government bailout. They will be up for grabs in by-elections on Wednesday in a province beset with electricity problems, dire water shortages and budget problems.
They might get the job… but there won’t be a salary. This was the shocking message delivered to councillors in a circular from the Amahlathi district municipality last week. It said the municipal budget remained unfunded and neither staff nor councillors would be paid for the next six to eight months.
In a letter signed by municipal manager Ivy Sikhulu-Nqwena, she stated that they were having “some difficulties”.
She said November salaries would be paid in December if the municipality received its equitable share payment in time. However, December salaries would not be paid because November bonuses had to be covered and outstanding payments made to service providers and third parties.
She wrote that they would also be unlikely to pay salaries for councillors or staff for the first three or four months next year, but that a month’s salary might be forthcoming in April – without any back pay.
Salaries for May and June, she…