In the midst of local businesses and residents struggling to cope with the economic effects of the national lockdown, Ndlambe Municipality has tabled a budget with extravagant expenditure.
In its examination of line items for the recently tabled budget for 2020/2021, the Port Alfred and Residents and Ratepayers Association (Parra) found that more than R12-million has been budgeted for casual labour and overtime alone, while the top six officials will pocket a combined R9.2-million.
Parra chairman Dawie van Wyk provided TotT with a list of the more extravagant expenditure.
The budget for consultants, including electrical, is R18,720,000, hiring charges R9,744,114, casual labour R6,935,431, overtime R5,631,569, bonuses R7,944,608, allowances R6,937,425, contractors R2,180,000, catering R1,466,196, cell phones R1,252,379, computers and IT R1,081,004, furniture R722,178, and advertising R507,314.
The combined salary package for the top six officials – the mayor, municipal manager, finance director, infrastructural development director, community protection services director and corporate services director – is R9,235,142.
Although budget pegged the rates increase at 6.1%, Parra said the recent property valuations resulted in an increase of 4%, which make the rates increase an effective 10.1%. Van Wyk said ratepayers need to be aware of these figures.