Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) splashed more than $1,2 million in overtime allowances in the first eight months of the year and is set to exceed its yearly overtime budget by over 100 percent.
According to the latest council minutes, the local authority had budgeted over $680 000 for overtime allowances.
“Justification for overtime: Security: The overtime was as a result of staff shortages, and ad-hoc deployments requested by departments. Parking meters:
The overtime was paid for staff policing the roads outside their normal working hours. Fire and Ambulance: Emergency services personnel on duty beyond their normal working hours,” reads the council minutes.
“Justification for overtime: Cleansing workshop: staff attending to refuse removal trucks on weekends. Refuse removal: Staff collecting refuse in the City centre on weekends. Cemetery: Staff attending to burials on weekends. Public conveniences, street cleaning: staff cleaning streets and public toilets on weekends. Clinic staff: working on weekends. Pest control: Fumigation of Offices done after hours and on weekends.”
Last year, councillors expressed concern over money spent by the local authority on overtime.They urged management to come up with strategies to reduce the wage bill.
Bulawayo United Residents’ Association (BURA) chairman Mr Winos Dube said $1,2m is just too much to be spent on overtime allowances in eight months. He said Government should revisit its policy on the job freeze imposed on municipalities saying it was to blame for long overtime hours.
“We are asking ourselves why they are spending so much on overtime. We are actually touched and concerned as rate payers as to what is happening. We believe that if ever the council has any money it should be seen spending it on service delivery,” said Mr Dube.
“Instead of spending money on over time, jobs should be created and these jobs can assist a number of people earn livelihoods. Can’t the Government revisit the issue of job freeze as there is a need and demand for jobs? We’ve so many of our people who are unemployed and desperate.” — @nqotshili