Msunduzi head unlikely to be chosen this year

2010-09-30 00:00

IT is highly unlikely that the cash-strapped Msunduzi Municipality will have a new municipal manager appointed by the end of the year.

Last week it was announced that the city can expect a new municipal manager before the year is over.

In yesterday’s full council sitting, councillors agreed that more discussion with the provincial department of Co-operative Governance was needed about the appointment of the new administration head of the beleaguered municipality.

Council speaker Babu Baijoo said that council believes that the municipality will be able to attract suitable candidates on a proposed 18-month municipal manager contract.

Baijoo said there is a possiblity that the new municipal manager might not be appointed by the end of the year.

In his report to the council’s executive committee (Exco) last week, Msunduzi administrator Johann Mettler also alluded to this. He said the municipality may face a problem in its bid to attract applicants who are suitably qualified.

Mettler said that the Municipal Systems Act states that the municipal manager’s employment contract “must be for a fixed term of employment up to a maximum of five years, not exceeding a period of ending one year after the election of the next council of the municipality”.

Because of the provision in the Act and next year’s local government elections, Msunduzi can only offer the municipal manager a maximum contract of 18 months, Mettler said.

The responsibility for the recruitment and selection of the municipal manager will be vested in the provincial intervention team and Mettler will sit in with Exco on the selection process of a suitable candidate.

When a candidate is selected his or her appointment will be recommended to the full council.

The Witness has learnt that the suspended strategic executive managers (SEMs) are not exempted from applying for the vacant municipal manager’s job. This is because they are still employees in the municipality and are still drawing a salary.

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