Premier Kiviet has a ‘golden opportunity for a fresh start’

FIVE of 13 Eastern Cape provincial departments have advertised for heads of department. Four of the positions were advertised in the Daily Dispatch on December 24 by the Office of the Premier.

These were for the departments of economic development, environmental affairs and tourism, local government and traditional affairs and for roads and public works. Applications close tomorrow. A fourth advertisement was for the position of head of health.

This was a re-advertisement and applications closed on January 11.

There is a fifth vacancy in the education department following the resignation of former superintendent-general Modidima Mannya.

Interviews for this position were conducted on Tuesday.

Mannya resigned in April last year after a fallout with Sadtu.

Economic development head Bulumko Nelana resigned at the end of the year to return to Johannesburg.

The contract for roads and public works head Bongani Gxilishe was not renewed. He had been appointed in 2010.

Local government and traditional affairs head Stanley Khanyile is to be replaced after being appointed in 2009.

His contract runs to the end of March this year.

The contract of health superintendentgeneral Dr Siva Pillay ended last month.

“This instability has resulted in a lack of consistent leadership in departments, which has lead to poor administration and lack of service delivery, as is evident from the auditor-general’s findings in this regard,” DA MPL Bobby Stevenson said.

Premier Noxolo Kiviet had a golden opportunity to present the provincial administration with a fresh start when she appointed five new heads of department, he added.

“The premier must ensure that the HODs who fill these vacancies are fit for the purpose,” Stevenson said.

“The new heads need to have the required leadership ability and experience to hold departmental officials to account for poor performance.

“They also need to be the best people for the job, and not simply deployed cadres.

“We need to put the Eastern Cape on the high road to service delivery.

“Part of this is having the right people in the right jobs.”

Education has been without a permanent head since April.

Local government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane confirmed that Khanyile’s contract would end in March.

“The decision to advertise the post was taken by the provincial executive committee. There is nothing wrong with advertising a post when a contract is about to end. It is part of the administrative processes in recruitment,” he said.

Qoboshiyane praised Khanyile for the good work he had done in the department. “He came to a department that had a number of administrative challenges, including poor audit reports. Khanyile is welcome to apply for this position, just like any person interested in the post.”

Economic development MEC Mcebisi Jonas commended the work done by Nelana during his tenure in the department.

“Nelana is a visionary administrator who was able to coordinate the activities of the department with success.

“His resignation from the department is a huge loss as there is still a lot of work to be done to improve the socio-economic conditions of people in the province,” Jonas said.

“The process of appointing a head of department has been initiated and hopefully will be finalised soon due to the strategic nature of the position.”

Provincial government spokesman Manelisi Wolela was not available for comment.