A cashier and her supervisor have been suspended at AbaQulusi Municipality, and another cashier has been fired, after nearly R50 000 went missing from the town’s coffers last month.
It appears as if the trio had been pocketing money that residents have paid towards their utilities bills at the municipality’s main office, and at its satellite office in Hlobane.
AbaQulusi’s income manager picked a discrepancy between the amount that was receipted and the amount that was banked during an income reconciliation exercise and raised the alarm bells.
During an investigation into the missing money, one of the cashiers admitted in writing to having taken the money and offered to pay it back.
However, Mayor Jerry Sibiya said that theft could not be tolerated at the municipality.
“These people were earning a living and stealing the very money that is used to pay their salaries and benefits. They were robbing the people who pay their salaries and I am very disappointed. The municipal manager and the chief financial officer even found that the cameras in the municipality had been physically turned so that they were no longer facing the cashiers,” said Cllr Sibiya.
The suspension of staff at the satellite office in Hlobane has left the community up in arms as full day office hours are no longer being adhered to and residents have to buy electricity or make payments by noon, before the offices are closed.
“We are looking into recruiting temporary staff but we need to be very careful to ensure that the money coming in from this poor community is not stolen,” concluded Cllr Sibiya.