A recent internal audit report by the Kwekwe City Council shows that the local authority has placed its workers at risk of failing to access medical facilities owing to a huge debt in medical aid contributions.
According to the report, council has been failing to remit workers’ contributions to the Kwekwe City Council Medical Aid Society from December 2011 despite deducting the money from employees’ salaries. Council owes the medical aid $673 497,60 for the two-and-a-half years of non-remittance.
“Council contributions’ arrears not yet remitted amounted to $669 352,20 and $4 145,40 for junior and senior staff respectively as at February 28 2014. . . this state of affairs was crippling the affairs of the medical aid society,” part of the audit reads. Audit manager Morris Mutema noted in the report that the medical aid society had in turn failed to pay service providers thereby putting employees at risk of being turned away from health institutions.
“They observed that as at February 28 an amount of $40 549,91 was being owed by the medical aid society to service providers. Some of the outstanding amounts were more than 120 days old. As a result, some of the service providers were now reluctant to offer services to Kwekwe City Council Medical Aid members,” the report reads.
The report has been tabled before council’s audit committee which has expressed concern council was ripping off its workers who are forced to contribute to the medical aid which the employer was not remitting.
Audit chairperson Weston Masiya said he understood that treasury was now seized with the outstanding bill affecting the medical aid society and had put forward a payment plan to ease the burden.
“There is a payment plan which I cannot discuss in the press, but I can tell you that as a committee, we are worried over these huge debts, especially these remittances which are deducted from employee salaries already,” Masiya said.
He said while council was falling behind with payments, management was busy fighting tooth and nail to acquire vehicles for itself.