OUTA asks that municipal salaries do not be increased

Municipality workers' salary increases are expected to kick in on July 1.

Non-profit company Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has made a plea to the government to put a hold on municipal salary increases, which are due to take effect on 1 July. OUTA wrote a letter to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to ask that she applies a moratorium on all local government salary increases due to the sheer number of businesses closing down across South Africa and the millions of citizens that are losing jobs or having their salaries cut because of the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis. 

OUTA says it would be irresponsible to give municipal workers a pay rise in this environment, condisering '"tese salary increases will be passed on to property owners in the form of municipal property rates and tariff hikes, which simply cannot be tolerated in today’s economic crisis,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO. “Even before the coronavirus arrived in March 2020, most municipalities were defunct and in financial distress as a result of mismanagement and poor leadership. In the real world of businesses and families, if you don't have the money to pay salaries, let alone salary increases, you simply can’t. What amazes us is that the authorities within the public service continue to operate as if there is no economic crisis out there,” 

Municipal saary the increases, however, which are based on national agreement reached by the South African Local Government Bargaining Council, are expected to be paid. According BusinessTech, that bargaining council agreement, which impacts roughly  255,000 municipal workers in the country, allows for an increase in the minimum wage payable to municipal workers to be increased to R8,329.70, from R7,839.21.