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Sowetan reports that a cash-strapped Limpopo municipality has failed to pay its employees their salaries this month.

Workers at Modimolle/ Mookgophong municipality are up in arms after their employer failed to pay them this month, pleading poverty.

The municipality, known as Lim368, was formed following the merger between the Mookgophong and Modimolle municipalities after the 2016 local government elections. It is led by the DA under the stewardship of mayor Marlene van Staden.

Some employees at the Modimolle offices were apparently paid their wages while those in Mookgophong were told to be patient as the council had difficulty in collecting revenue.

Workers were given letters informing them that they would be paid before the end of the month.

“Kindly be informed that the municipality(sic) financial situation is not good and this will affect May salaries to be paid on time. We request the staff of the municipality to expect this salaries before the end of the month,” read the letter signed by former acting council boss, Mapule Felicity Mokoko. She has since resigned from the municipality.

Van Staden said the municipality had run out of funds.

“I can confirm that our officials from Mookgophong did not receive their salaries because the municipality is bankrupt. This is due to lack of revenue collection in the Mookgophong area,” said Van Staden.

She said they were working hard to ensure that everybody got paid before the end of the month, claiming non-payment affected senior officials.

But shop steward Ernie Mbiza said it did not make sense their colleagues in Modimolle got paid while they did not receive their payments.

“We have debit orders that must go through from our salaries and also have to pay other accounts.

Another employee, Naphtally Tlhoaela, said they were frustrated.

“We are frustrated because we have children to support and our debit orders are bouncing, meaning we will have to pay extra for the bounced debit orders,” he said.

Provincial secretary of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union Patrick Aphane said they would call for it to be placed under administration.

The original of this report by Frank Maponya appeared on page 7 of Sowetan of 28 May 2018

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