THE political advisor for OR Tambo district municipality, serving one of South Africa’s poorest areas, rakes in a R1 million a year salary but no-one – including the man himself- can explain what his job entails.
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National Treasury data shows Zama Mzamane, the political advisor to mayor Dingaan Myolwa in the council in the Transkei region of the Eastern Cape, earns a total package of R1,180, 860 a year.
He is a rare breed. In nearly 7000 records of senior council jobs and pay from the Treasury his is the only “political advisior” listed.
OR Tambo – which includes seven local municipalities in an area with a population of nearly 1,5m – can hardly afford a senior executive whose job description no-one can explain.
The municipality is considered by the Treasury to have been “financially dysfunctional” over the last two financial years and received an adverse audit opinion for the year 2010/11.
Media24 Investigations contacted Mzamane several times to ask him what he did and further details of his salary package.
He declined to say and demanded that our reporter reveal similar details in return.
“Send me the questions and also state how much you earn and what your job is,” he said.
When told that as a public official he was obliged to answer the questions relating to his position he disconnected the call.
“Stop pestering me, leave me alone, you child,” he said in later call and refused again to answer questions.
Mzamane is a former OR Tambo council Chief Whip and is a local ANC executive committee member.
The council’s last annual report shows that his package includes a R70,000 a year car allowance and a R2000 a month cellphone allowance.
His package is just shy of that of the municipal manager who earns R1,265,760 a year and is more than the director of legal services (R1,068,150), the head of the internal audit (R1,064,900) and other senior positions.
A call to council Speaker Nomakhosazana Meth about Mzamane’s position was answered with loud laughter.
“No, I don’t know what his position entails either. Maybe you should ask him.” She referred all questions to Mzamane.
Mayor Myolwa asked that the questions be emailed to him via Mzamane’s email address but when contacted claimed not to have received them.
UDM Chief Whip in OR Tambo, Vuyani Dangala, said “This is a crisis. We don’t understand why there should be such a position. This is a duplication of duties as the Municipal Manager should be the one advising the mayor on issues of the municipality or any other guidance the mayor might need. This is simply looting of public funds.”