Pay rise for Harare city mayor, councillors

Source: Pay rise for Harare city mayor, councillors | The Financial Gazette July 20, 2017



HARARE’S mayor and councillors received pay increases of up to 94 percent last year, at a time the municipality is struggling to pay its workers, council financial statements show.

The city’s audited financial statements for the year-ended December 2016 show that mayor Bernard Manyenyeni was paid $13 745 last year, a 94 percent increase on the previous year’s income of $7 098.
The deputy mayor’s 2016 total remuneration of $9 840 was a 167 percent jump from the previous year’s $3 690. The city’s 44 other councillors drew a combined $225 438 in 2016, up from $140 745.
On average, a Harare councillor got $427 per month in allowances.

Harare’s total employment costs for 2016 were $126,23 million, up from $125,45 million the previous year.
Harare reported a deficit of $76 million in 2016, compared to a surplus of $43 million in 2015. This was mainly due to a significant increase in impairment losses. Revenue for 2016 was $281 million, 3,8 percent down from $292 million the previous year, while expenses were $236 million (2015: $240 million).
Manyenyeni has previously blamed council’s high wage bill on an administrative decision taken by former local government minister Ignatius Chombo to award considerable pay increases before the 2013 elections.
“There is a technical denial about our salaries. Many of the people who should know better pretend we don’t have a salary problem. There was a rationalisation (of salaries) for management only, but it’s insignificant when you are talking about over 7 000 workers,” Manyenyeni told The Financial Gazette.

“The conversation is bigger than the executive payroll,” he said, adding that the increase in the wage bill over the past year was due to the hiring of casual workers and payment of overtime to staff. Harare’s workers got $3,37 million in overtime payments in 2016, up from $2,173 million the previous year.

The city, with a $346 million budget for 2017, has an estimated 7 000 employees and 46 councillors. By comparison, the City of Johannesburg, which has a 46 billion rand ($3,47 billion) budget for 2016/17, employs 12 000 and has 270 councillors.

Johannesburg’s 10,4 billion rand ($785 million) employment costs are about 23 percent of total revenue, while Harare’s wage bill is about 45 percent of total collections.