We want top municipal managers

2014-03-02 10:00

It is common knowledge that we face challenges in some ­municipalities with a professional ethos that is uneven and sometimes lacking. Tackling this requires a differentiated ­approach.

In this paper, the inability or unwillingness of some municipalities to comply with National Treasury minimum competency level regulations for municipal managers and chief ­financial officers has been highlighted.

They have been boosted by new regulations gazetted by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Lechesa Tsenoli in January.

The new regulations will further strengthen governance and accountability at senior management level in municipalities. They tighten up the appointment and conditions of ­employment of senior managers in municipalities and, if well implemented, will help to professionalise management at ­municipalities where this is lacking.

The regulations guide municipalities in the appointment of senior managers to ensure that skills are fit for purpose.

They also provide for the creation of a database of managers who have been dismissed for misconduct or corrupt activities.

The regulations further require that managers declare their financial interests regularly and prohibit management from holding positions in political parties.

National government will support and monitor the implementation of new and existing regulations.

In coming years, the consolidation and deepening of ­democracy must continue at local level.

Local government management and political leadership will also be needed to tackle corruption and mismanagement of the public purse.

For public administrators who want to make a difference, local government will be the coalface of change in our country in the next decade of our democracy.

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