“Overpaid” municipal employees bleeding Walvis Bay Municipality to death …

The Joint Walvis Bay Residents Association’s municipal councillor, Buddy Bramwell, is calling for municipal employees’ salaries to be cut by 20 % for the period 1 December 2021 to 30 June 2022. A motion to this effect was tabled by Councillor Bramwell at the monthly Council meeting on Tuesday night.

Councillor Bramwell motivated his motion with alarming statistics. Perhaps the most alarming is the Walvis Bay Municipality’s salary bill represents 50 % of its annual budget. That means for every N$1 the ratepayer pays in rates and tariffs, 50c goes towards salaries. A significant portion of this 50 % salary bill goes towards the Municipality’s pension or retirement fund and in his words is “slowly bleeding the Municipality’s reserves dry”.
In his motivation for the tabling of this motion to cut the salary bill, Councillor Bramwell highlighted the following:
Firstly, a flawed operational budget for 2020/2021 was presented to the Ministry of Finance. Municipal officials tasked with drawing up the budget proposal are to be blamed, and Councillors’ “collective limited knowledge on financial matters” only worsened the situation.
Secondly, the Minister of Finance approved the flawed budget, but added fifteen recommendations. One of the recommendations is municipal employees are overpaid. The current salary bill of 50 % is too high and should be cut back to 42 %.
“To put this into perspective let me enumerate what the proposed operational budget of our Municipality for the 2021/2022 was. The total operational budget is N$600 268 567-00 (N$600 million) of which N$304 587 150-00 (N$304 million) is for employee related costs,” explained Councillor Bramwell.
“No small wonder the Minister of Finance has problems with our budget”, said Councillor Bramwell. Adding it is for this reason alone the Minister has recommended downscaling the cost to company from 50 % to 42 %
Councillor Bramwell also remarked even a 42 % rate is frowned upon if the Municipality is to return to financial stability.

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