Msunduzi Municipality’s administrator, Scelo Duma has uncovered over a hundred alleged ghost workers on the municipal payroll. The municipality has been under administration for over two years.

The Municipality manages Pietermaritzburg, the seat of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature. There have been a number of protest marches about service delivery in various communities.

Some of the roads have huge potholes, while parts of the city centre are filthy. The provincial government placed the municipality under administration.

Duma has discovered that some municipal employees could not be accounted for in a headcount.

DA Caucus leader in the uMsunduzi Municipality, Sibongiseni Majola, confirmed that the administrator has reported to the council that there are employees who have failed to come for the headcount in the last three months.

“At the last three reports, he indicated that he is investigating or he is conducting a headcount process in terms of making sure that all employees of the municipality are appearing physically to verify their presence. Well, that process has been ongoing since last year November. There was a deadline to do that. Well, as per the due day of that process, the MR came back to full council, indicated that as per the approved 2013 organogram, it indicates that there were about 180 employees who failed to appear through the headcount process. Well, he allowed the space for whatever reason, for whatever circumstances that might lead to the employees not to appear. Yes, it is true from that 180 there were some justifiable reasons. Being one, during that period where the deceased, others resigned during that process, which ended up with 121 still not appearing for the headcount process. Well, from his action, in terms of responding to that he suspended their salaries.”

KwaZulu-Natal IFP Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Spokesperson in the legislature, Otto Kunene, says the alleged existence of ghost employees is of great concern.

“We, as the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, were shocked to learn of the allegations that there are more than 100 employees, so-called ghost employees in uMsunduzi Municipality. Really, this is a matter of serious concern that has been discovered in uMsunduzi. We wish that Honourable MEC Hlomuka could extend it to all other municipalities to be sure that in the payrolls of all municipalities legitimate employees, people who are supposed to be paid and people who are serving our people, are employed and therefore, are being paid.”

Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, has welcomed the discovery of the alleged ghost employees.

Cogta Spokesperson Senzelwe Mzila says the measures being put in place are bearing fruits.

The department of Cooperative Governance in KwaZulu-Natal says it is advisable that other municipalities limit financial risk by verifying their employees as well.