More than a third of municipalities in the province have neglected to conduct performance reviews of municipal managers and senior staff.

Performance reviews are mandatory as stated in chapter 4 of the Municipal Systems Act. The lack of sustained performance management review in municipalities leads to non consequence and discipline of officials who do not perform and is one of the main reasons why there continues to be appalling service delivery from many municipalities in the province.

Chapter 4 section 16 (1) (a) subsection 2 it stipulates the following:

  • “A municipality must establish, implement and review performance management systems”;
  • Section 40 specifies that municipalities must establish mechanisms to monitor and review performance management systems;
  • Furthermore, in section 41 of the Act it is stated that the municipality must set key targets in line with the objectives of its IDP (Integrated Development Plan).

In response to a parliamentary question submitted by myself to the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Mlibo Qoboshiyani the following was revealed (For a copy of the official reply from the MEC, click here): Reply from MEC

  • Of the 45 municipalities in the province, only 7 municipalities had actually completed their full cycle of performance reviews for managers namely Blue Crane, Sundays River, Ngushwa, Ntabankulu, Port St Johns, Inxuba Yethemba and Elundini muncipalities.
  • Some of the 14 municipalities which had not conducted Performance reviews, include municipalities such as Makana, Nxuba, Great Kei Amahlati, Lukanji and OR Tambo.
  • Two municipalities which did not respond to the MEC, are King Sabata Dalindyebo and Ngquza Hill municipalities.
  • Two municipalities had only done half quarterly reviews namely Ndlambe (which had not done reviews in the 3rd and 4th quarters of the financial year) and Maletswai would only review once it had presented its annual report.
  • The remainder of the municipalities had stated intentions by when these reviews would be completed.

On behalf of the Democratic Alliance, I have followed up with the MEC for Local Government as to whether these other municipalities have in fact completed their performance appraisals by their declared dates. Of particular concern is Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, which had undertaken to complete last quarter reviews by August 2012.

During the upcoming portfolio committee meetings of the Local Government department to discuss their Annual Report, I will be asking for details about performance bonus awards to non-performing municipalities. In addition we wish to know how much and what extent the public are involved with the setting of these targets for municipalities, which is a requirement mandated in the Act. For a copy of my questions to the MEC,click here: Questions to MEC

Performance Management is not implemented or taken seriously by the department of Local Government and municipalities in the province. There are allegations of whopping performance bonuses given to senior managers, where no appraisal has been undertaken on those staff. Furthermore it is known that many performance appraisals are “sweetheart” appraisals merely done to award a non-performing cadre a bonus.

Performance Management is the one tool that if properly applied awards hard working and diligent employees while conversely punishes lazy and inept staff only at work to get a monthly pay cheque. In addition regular performance appraisal and the cascading of this to all staff levels in all municipalities will ensure that current poor levels of municipal service delivery are radically improved for the benefit of all citizens of this province.