DESPITE battling to spend its allocated budget on core service delivery, Buffalo City Metro employees have already exhausted about half of their overtime budget, halfway through the current financial year.
Of their 2012-2013 overtime allocation, metro employees have already spent 45%.
The biggest single culprit, engineering services, has already spent more than 60% of its R12-million overtime budget.
A report tabled at the latest council meeting presents the city as “within budget” – it has so far spent more than R22-million of its R51-million overtime budget.
This is despite the metro’s failure to spend on essentials such as housing provision, healthcare, road maintenance and public safety.
The overtime expenditure was incurred due to staff shortages and various emergencies in the first half of this financial year, the report explains.
The engineering services directorate has spent 63% of its budget followed closely by executive support services, which has so far spent 59% of its R1.2-million allocation.
Corporate services has spent R248000 of its R459000 budget, an equivalent of 54%, while community services has paid out R7.3-million of R15.8-million.
The report further reveals that financial services and the office of city manager Andile Fani have both spent just over 40% of their budgets since the municipal financial year began last July.
Overtime for development planning, health and public safety languishes between 30% and 39% so far while only 12% was spent by the office of the chief operations officer (COO).
The city’s mid-year budget and performance assessment report says operating projects expenditure for the period ending December 31 2012 was R28.9-million, which translates to only 12% of their approved adjusted budget of R250.6-million.
The report cites poor planning by directorates, delays in procurement processes and legal challenges as some of the obstacles in spending their allocation for operating projects.
For their capital projects, only 19% of the R793.3-million budget has been utilised.
The report suggests delays in the implementation of projects funded through an urban settlement development grant is the cause of the lack of spend.
The council cites staff shortages and emergencies as some of the reasons for the expenditure on overtime.
“Emergencies get attended to on call and are not easy to reduce and prevent.
“Overtime expenditure is incurred as the demand for rendering services increases and should increase as the year progresses,” the document says. — firstname.lastname@example.org