Leeto eyes sky-rocking salary bill

The mayor of the of the Lejweleputswa District Municipality, Mathabo Leeto, has challenged the council to develop policies to curb the municipality’s ballooning salary bill and free up the saved money to address service delivery backlogs

“The Municipality is still facing a lot of challenges that hinder us from accomplishing all our obligations to the communities of the district. Our annual salary bill increased by 62 percent, I believe that it is crucial for council to come up with suggestions in order for us to deal with the problem, so that money could be used to make a huge difference on service delivery issues within the municipality.”

Leeto presented the R 108.8-billion draft budget for 2013/2014 financial year for the Lejweleputswa District Municipality for council approval.

“I propose to council that a 2013/2014 Budget which amounts to a capital budget of R 3 975 100 and an operating budget of R 104 864 192 be approved. My recommendations are that council approves the 2013/2014 IDP; a workshop be organised where the demarcation board must be invited by the executive mayor to clarify some functions; and that the accounting officer must submit the approved annual budget to the provincial treasury.

“As the municipality, we are faced with a challenge of being 100 percent dependent on grants from national government and have no billable resources since the district is not collecting levies. Council should also note that the overhead costs grow at a higher rate than the income and it absorbs a bigger part of income year by year,” added Leeto.

The impact of the declining global economy and the decrease in the district’s population has negatively affected the municipality’s revenue.

“The Lejweleputswa District Municipality 2013/2014 IDP is informed by the five key strategic objectives of local government namely, local economic development; municipal transformation and institutional development; basic service delivery and infrastructure; financial viability and management and good governance,” said Leeto.

She said the district municipality hosted a dialogue on June 14 at JC Mothumi High School in Thabong, in celebration of Youth Day.

“The main purpose of the dialogue was to create a platform for youth to talk about their role in a democratic society. And what was most surprising was the fact that the five participants were all girls. This encouraged the municipality to help fund the ‘take a girl child to work project’ in the fight against abuse of alcohol and drugs.” concluded Leeto.