Chombo rejects Redcliff 2015 budget

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Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo has rejected the 2015 budget for Redcliff municipality over top management salaries.

by BLESSED MHLANGA

Redcliff has failed to effect proposed increases in water tariffs and other rates which include council house rentals owing to the latest move by Chombo.

The town’s deputy mayor Vincent Masiyiwa confirmed that the council’s 2015 budget was rejected almost halfway into the year, throwing operations into disarray.

“We received communication from the ministry that our budget had not been approved mainly because we failed to comply with a salaries directive, especially concerning top management,” he said.

Chombo’s office issued a directive to have town clerks and council chief executives’ salaries reduced after a nationwide outcry on the high perks earned by the executives at local authorities.

Masiyiwa told NewsDay that Redcliff town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza was earning around $4 900 in salary and other benefits and the directive was to have it slashed to around $3 200.

“We were paying roughly around $4 900 a month to the town clerk and the directive asks us to reduce that figure to something lower around $3 200. We have, therefore, assembled a committee which will meet the minister and discuss these issues,” he said.

Gwatipedza was entitled to a raft of allowances such as unlimited cellphone use, a council vehicle fuelled to 70 litres every week, free water, full holiday allowance for not more than three days and $200 for her maid and gardener.

She was also entitled to a car and housing loan payable at 1% interest rate over a five-year period.

The council also pays her $2 500 per term for her children’s school fees and other allowances including housing, medical aid and funeral cover.

Gwatipedza was entitled to take ownership of her official double cab vehicle purchased for her by the local authority in 2011.
These benefits have to be cut for the 2015 budget to be approved.