The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Mohokare Local Municipality is concerned by the initiated strike by municipal officials following the municipality’s failure to make third-party payments.
Since August 2022, the municipality has been deducting funds from employees’ salaries without remitting them to the intended recipients. Consequently, employees found themselves without essential benefits such as medical aid, funeral policies, and lapsed insurance policies.
Employees protested the non-payments by walking out, but after being assured that all arrears had been settled, they returned to work. Unfortunately, within days, it became apparent that the payments were not made as promised. This led to another strike on Monday, with employees refusing to resume work until provided with written proof of payments and the reinstatement of all policies and contributions.
It appears that Mohokare Council’s practice of deducting subs and contributions from employees’ salaries without transferring the funds to the intended parties has become the norm. Disturbingly, as of June 2022, the council owed a staggering amount of R94,400,000 to the pension fund, R3,500,000 to the PAYE and UIF funds, and an additional R1,500,000 to the medical aid. This situation is projected to worsen significantly by the end of the current financial year.
This mismanagement is not only unjust but also has severe consequences for the employees who have diligently contributed to the pension fund and medical aid for years, hoping for a secure and contented retirement. Instead, they face the grim reality of having little to no savings upon retirement and the possibility of being without essential healthcare during their old age. Moreover, such practices make it highly unlikely for the municipality to obtain a clean audit from the Auditor General.
In stark contrast, DA-run municipalities consistently achieve clean audits, demonstrating their commitment to the well-being of their employees, even in retirement. These revelations provide yet another compelling reason for voting for the DA in 2024 as the correct and necessary choice.