Councils under fire for MM appointments: Daily Dispatch

THE Democratic Alliance in the Bhisho Legislature has accused three local councils of irregularly appointing municipal managers.

They claim Intsika Yethu in Cofimvaba, Walter Sisulu in Aliwal North and Port St Johns local municipalities have irregularly appointed managers.

DA shadow MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) Vicky Knoetze said the party was concerned by the alarming rate of these allegedly irregular appointments.

“In a response to oral questions with regards to the appointment of the municipal manager 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 will send a delegation to investigate the appointment with immediate effect,” Knoetze said, adding that, to date, no information had been received by the delegation.

The Walter Sisulu municipal manager (MM) is Tembinkosi Mawonga. Mawonga said he was the MM at Gariep before it merged with Maletwai to form Walter Sisulu.

“My contract was not new, so when it was extended there was no need for concurrence from the MEC. I was appointed in line with 2006 regulations, so my contract had an option to renew. As a result it has been renewed through a council decision and will end in 2021 with an option to renew for not more than a year,” he said.

Cogta spokesman Mamnkeli Ngam said the department wrote to Walter Sisulu mayor Bulelwa Khweyiya advising that the council should nullify the appointment or renewal of Mawonga’s contract on the basis of its alleged irregularity.

“The MEC did not concur on the appointment or renewal of employment contract as it was not submitted to the department. No acting appointment was submitted to the department either.”

Section 57(6) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000, provides if the post of municipal manager becomes vacant, the municipal council must advertise the post nationally to attract a pool of candidates nationwide.

Knoetze said in Intsika Yethu the MM had been appointed allegedly without a recruitment report and a report containing recommendations being furnished to council.

“The MEC (Fikile Xasa) stated such a report was furnished to council in a special council meeting on June 7. On further inspection it was found that there was no special council meeting on June 7,” she said.

The municipal manager is Siyabulela Koyo. Ngam, however, said Xasa had received the recruitment document and confirmed the appointment of Koyo in Intsika Yethu.

The Daily Dispatch has a copy of a concurrence letter written by Xasa to the municipality.

In Port St Johns, Knoetze alleged, the acting MM had been appointed without council resolution.

The Port St Johns municipal spokeswoman, Phelokazi Pellem failed to respond to emailed questions sent on Wednesday last week.

In the Port St Johns matter, Ngam said, the municipality had not submitted the acting appointment request to Xasa for concurrence. —  ZOLILE MENZELWA, Political Reporter