City loses water manager

2009-06-11 00:00

THE retirement of Yunus Goga as the acting process manager for water and sanitation at the Msunduzi Municipality means that Pietermaritzburg has lost 28 years of water engineering experience.

As an interim measure, the municipality has since appointed Thokozani Maceko as the acting head of water and sanitation due to what it said is his broad range of managerial and technical experience

Existing staff will carry the extra workload until the post is filled because there is inadequate technical capacity.

The deputy municipal manager for infrastructure, services and facilities, Phil Mashoko, said the municipality does not believe that Goga’s resignation will impact service delivery.

He said Goga was a mentor and coach to young engineering professionals, who are still with the municipality.

There is therefore significant experience retention and knowledge to face the challenges ahead, he said.

Mashoko is a professional civil engineer who will aid the water and sanitation sub-unit when required.

He acknowledged that the gap left by skilled engineering staff would have an effect on the consistency, continuity and efficiency in the execution of the five-year investment plan for projects falling under the water and sanitation umbrella.

Discussions are being held between Goga and se­nior management within the infrastructure services business unit in the hope that he will offer assistance to the water and sanitation sub-unit when possible.

Mashoko said that from exit interviews held with staff who have tendered their resignations, the remuneration issue seems to be the main reason for their movement.

“The technical labour market is very vibrant and the remuneration by the municipality is not competitive enough to attract and retain senior technical personnel,” he said.

In the past five years, six of the eight engineers left on retirement.

“The reason is that staff perceive a ceiling to their personal growth as defined by the organisation structure of the municipality.

“The current practice is growth through the managerial route and there is no alternative for growth through the specialist route, which could offer future prospects for them to fulfil their aspirations,” he said.

Mashoko said that although the municipality offers bursaries to enginee­ring students, most of them leave within two years of completing their studies because they receive more attractive offers.

He said the infrastructure services business unit has made use of retired engineers on a part-time basis.

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