ECape pays R30m for 'turnaround' managers

The Eastern Cape provincial government will spend R30-million this financial year on the 30 senior managers it has contracted to sort out the finances of troubled municipalities.

This has emerged from a reply given by local government minister Sicelo Gqobana to a DA question in the provincial legislature.

The reply, released by the DA on Thursday, shows that the managers, who are on two-year renewable contracts, cost a simliar amount last year.

Among the 2009/10 costs is R9,5 million for “accommodation”, which works out at R868 a night for each manager, 365 days a year.

The 14 most senior managers each earned R652 572 during the year, or R547 381 a month.

Gqobana said the managers had been appointed to help his department achieve its goal of having at least 27 municipalities obtain unqualified audit opinions by 2012.

Clean audits by 2014
It wanted all 45 municipalities in the province to achieve clean audits by 2014.

DA local government spokesperson in the province Dacre Haddon said on Thursday that the DA welcomed the clean audit intervention.

However the project showed no confidence in the employees already working for the targeted municipalities.

“The failed policy of cadre deployment by government in appointing staff who are unqualified and incapable of doing their jobs has resulted in this mess,” he said.

Of “further concern” was the appointment as one of these managers of Speech Sohena, the former municipal manager of Sundays River, which had been plagued by financial mismanagement under his watch.—Sapa

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