FATE OF FORMER MUNICIPAL MANAGER MUST BE FINALISED

The delay in finalising the fate of former Metro municipal manager Graham Richards must be concluded forthwith.

Since late 2009 when Richards was suspended he was put on special leave pending the outcome of the investigation concerning himself. As a result he has been continuing to receive a salary while on suspended leave.

Either Mr. Richards must be reinstated or a settlement agreed with him.

Putting officials on suspended leave with full pay is a well known practice of the ANC and shows that a change in our labour laws regarding this issue is now long overdue. This waste of public money on a salary when work is not being performed is unacceptable. The Democratic Alliance opposes this wastage and is using every means to have this matter concluded soonest.

Indeed, during the 2009 election campaign this issue was frequently highlighted by President Jacob Zuma as an unsavoury practice and something that needed attention from a new government.

The new ANC government has been elected. Despite protestations from their leader, the practice of pay while on suspension carries on.

The Metro council meeting of 25 January 2010, where DA councillor Retief Odendaal motioned that the investigation into Richards and the allegations against him be proven or he be reinstated was refused debate by the ANC. Why did the ANC refuse the debate?

As a result of this action from the ANC in the council, the new ANC Metro Executive Mayor, Zanoxolo Wayile, owes the citizens of this Metro an explanation why he and his party are delaying the process with Mr. Richards.

I have petitioned the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Gqobana, with parliamentary questions into this matter asking when this saga will be finalised and that the report is made public.

The public has a right to know what the costs paid from the public purse will be in this matter as well as the tardy process and cause of delay in finalising the process.

My question for oral reply reads:

QUESTION FOR ORAL REPLY

Mr. DB Haddon to ask MEC for Cooperative Development:

1) When will the forensic audit commissioned by the MEC investigating land deals in the Metro, the suspension of former Metro Municipal Manager Graham Richards and other issues be concluded?

2) When will the full report be presented to the Portfolio Committee on Co Operative governance, the Legislature and the public for information?

3) Have any fruitless costs been incurred as a result of this audit and the findings thereto and, if so, for what are these costs and how much do the costs amount to?

4) What has been the cause of the delay in finalizing this report?

For further information, please contact Dacre Haddon, MPL on 079 694 3788