Cogta MEC must enforce compliance in appointment of Municipal Managers

The controversy surrounding the number of alleged irregular appointments of Municipal Managers in the province needs to be cleared up as a matter of urgency. Cadre deployment and corruption-free government are polar opposites.  The DA stands for good governance and has zero tolerance towards corruption.

There should be no margin for error in appointing key positions. The MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Fikile Xasa must, as a matter of urgency, enforce compliance or declare such appointments as null and void if they are found to be irregular.

It is critical that MEC Xasa keeps his finger on the pulse of critical appointments in municipalities. A Municipal Manager (MM) can make or break a municipality. They often hold the key in terms of guarding against corruption, irregular, unauthorised and fruitless and wasteful expenditure. If the person appointed to such a position does not have the necessary skills to ensure administrative compliance, everyone will suffer, especially the residents of the municipality.

There have been three alleged instances of alleged irregular appointments of MMs in the province over the past few months, in the Intsika Yethu, Walter Sisulu and Port St Johns Municipalities.

The Municipal Systems Act is very clear about the processes that must be followed to appoint an MM. It also allows the MEC of Cogta to enforce compliance. Non-compliance results in an appointment being null and void.

In a response to oral questions about the appointment of the MM in Walter Sisulu Local Municipality without the post being advertised, the MEC stated that he was not aware of the irregularities in terms of this appointment and would send a delegation to investigate, with immediate effect. To date, no information has been received from such a delegation. For the reply, click here: Reply to IQP 35 q 4 appoiontment of Walter Sisulu MM

It was also alleged that Intsika Yethu Municipality appointed a MM without the council being given a report on the recruitment process and recommendations. This made it impossible for the council to ensure that the appointment was in line with the requirements of the Systems Act. The MEC stated in response to legislature questions I asked, that such a report was furnished to council in a Special Council Meeting on 7 June 2017.  On further inspection, it was found that there was no special council meeting on the 7 June 2017. For the reply, click here: Reply to IQP 31 appointment of Intsika Yethu MM

The latest instance of an alleged irregular appointment of an acting MM took place in Port St Johns Municipality, where the former MM was suddenly dismissed by the Mayor and an acting MM was appointed without the post being advertised and without a council decision.

I have submitted a legislature question to the MEC about the appointment of the MM in Port St Johns and am waiting for his reply. I will continue to highlight irregular appointments of MMs to the MEC through letters and legislature questions. — Vicky Knoetze MPL, Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs