West Rand municipality couldn't pay wages thanks to VBS scandal

West Rand municipality couldn't pay wages thanks to VBS scandal

- On Wednesday, hundreds of employees were left hanging when the West Rand District Municipality could not pay their wages

- The municipality lost R77 million in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal that rocked South Africa

- Councillors were held captive on Wednesday by employees who demanded to be paid their salaries

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After losing R77 million in the VBS Mutual Bank saga, the West Rand District Municipality failed to pay its employees' salaries.

On Wednesday, a memorandum, was sent to employees. In the memorandum, the municipality blamed National Treasury for the non payment of salaries.

In the memorandum, it states the municipality intended to pay salaries on, or before, 30 October.

The municipality said it committed to making these payments after applying for the release of its equitable share, which is a portion the Treasury gives municipalities from tax revenues.

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Briefly.co.za learned that usually, this municipality's share is about R30 million annually, when considering past yarly reports.

News24 reported that the West Rand municipality's salaries are in the region of R164 million. Councillors receive a further R9 million.

The head of corporate services, Rethabiseng Mokebe, explained in the memo that Treasury did not respond to their request for funds, nor did Treasury provide any monies for wages.

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She added that because of this, the municipality is not sure when it can settle salaries.

Meanwhile, Eyewitness News reported that West Rand municipal councillors were held hostage after staff were not paid. They have since been freed.

On Wednesday, employees disrupted a council meeting, where they then held councillors captive. The workers demanded their salaries be paid.

Employees told the media they have received their salaries.

David Mokoena, the municipal manager, said funds set aside for a project were used to pay 140 salaries.

Mokoena said although it's a temporary solution, the municipality is in talks with its stakeholders.

"We’re expecting to have both national departments of Cogta and Treasury to come to our municipality in order to do the assessment so that we can get a permanent solution to the matter.”

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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