Local government in the Eastern Cape is in crisis. In response to a parliamentary question I asked regarding the vacancy rate of senior managers in municipalities, the MEC for Local Government said that 21 of 45 municipalities (including District Municipalities) have vacancies for Municipal Managers, Chief Financial Officers, Technical Directors and Corporate Services Directors. For the reply, click here.
Three of the six District Municipalities in the province namely Cacadu, Amathole and Chris Hani do not have Municipal Managers. Seven local municipalities are also without municipal managers.
This applies to the Nelson Mandela Metro as well.
The Buffalo City Metro does not have a CFO (Chief Financial Officer).
We cannot carry on like this anymore!
These vacancies have a direct impact on lack of service delivery as there are no competent and skilled staff in these positions to plan, execute and drive service delivery programmes.
This is one of the cardinal reasons that continued service delivery failure plagues the people of this province — especially the vulnerable.
Of particular concern is the high number of these vacancies caused by “resignations”.
From these 21 municipalities with senior management vacancies, more than half are caused by resignations.
I will on behalf of the Democratic Alliance be doing the following to rectify this sad state of affairs:
Firstly, I will be asking the Portfolio Committee on Local Government to investigate why there is such a high degree of resignations of senior managers in Eastern Cape municipalities.
It is hoped that answers from exit interviews (if done) will clarify some of the problems.
Secondly, I have written to the MEC, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, asking what plans are in place to fill these vacancies and by what date these vacancies will be filled.
Thirdly, I will be asking that the MEC, with the portfolio committee and the Department of Local Government, do an in-depth survey and look at best practice as to how we attract skilled and competent staff to these positions, based on merit and not political appointments.
Fourthly, in conjunction with DA caucus leader colleagues in these municipalities we must ensure that such competent staff are legally and correctly appointed and where possible get representation on interview panels.
The tardiness in not interviewing or advertising these vacant posts months after the incumbent has left illustrates how crisis management in municipalities has become the order of the day.
Dacre Haddon, MPL
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