Umvoti Municipality adopts more ‘acting’ officials

2017-07-26 06:01

IN October last year Umvoti Municipality advertised for a municipal manager - 26 replies were received.

Fast forward to July 2017 and a permanent MM has not yet been appointed. But since September last year there has been an acting municipal manager, Mr Melusi Maphanga - this despite the Municipal Systems Act which stated in Section 54 that an acting municipal manager “may not be appointed for a period that exceeds three months”.

Cogta twice requested the municipality to take action to remove the “not suitably qualified” acting municipal manager, but despite the threat of action being taken against the municipality, Cogta was ignored, but also did not take any action.

Fast forward again to the Umvoti Council meeting on 17 July at which the mayor announced that “new” acting managers had been appointed as follows - Acting Municipal Manager: Ms TNS Ngiba, whose position as Acting CEO has been filled by Ms N. Mzimela (seconded by Cogta), Acting Director Technical Services: N. Qwabe, Acting Director Community Services: M.R Khoza, Acting Director Corporate Services: M.F. Maphanga (until 17) Acting Municipal Manager).

This was impeccable timing on the part of Umvoti in that on that day Cogta MEC had announced that “a political showdown was looming between Cogta and municipalities that refused to remove unqualified senior managers from their positions”.

As all Umvoti residents are aware transparency and information no longer feature as part of the Umvoti Municipality ethos, but maybe there is just a possibility that answers will be given residents through the Greytown Gazette:

• Does the “new” acting municipal manager have the necessary qualifications to serve in this position? Ms Ngiba, who was seconded by Cogta over two years ago, to the position of acting Chief Financial Officer in Umvoti, was previously CFO at the Jozini Municipality.

• Does the new “acting” Chief Financial Officer (also appointed through Cogta) Ms Nonhlanhla Mzila have the necessary qualifications to serve in this positiion? Ms Mzila was the “acting municipal manager at Mtubatuba Municipality until she resigned last September having been there for over a year as a Cogta appointment.

• Apart from the MM and CFO vacancies there are several other senior management posts not filled. The Auditor- General expressed concern at these vacancies and was given the assurance that Umvoti Municipality would fill these posts (on a permanent basis) by June, but these vacancies have not yet been advertised.

Umvoti Municipality has not employed a permanent Chief Financial Officer since 2014 and the vacancy has not been advertised.

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