Let appointees be qualified

2015-09-23 06:00

THE DA opposes the Mangaung Metro’s move of appointing unqualified firefighters. Firefighters play a critical role in protecting the public from danger. Without proper qualifications this cannot be achieved. It amounts to taking people’s lives for granted.

Metro’s spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, said these appointments were part of a group of volunteers that were rented to the Metro on a permanent basis. The DA has evidence that only three out of these volunteers were appointed. The process he is referring to happened three years ago.

The DA is in possession of emails between officials with the instruction to add names of people to be interviewed. In these emails officials claim the names come from ANC councillor Moses Sekakanyo.

The DA asked a rule 52 question to the city manager, Sibongile Mazibuko, to get more clarity on these appointments.

She said: “I wish to reiterate the fact that human resource (HR) management, which includes the recruitment and selection of staff, is the responsibility of the city manager and is best performed without political interference. I therefore once again request that the rule 52 question should not be abused by councillors to interfere in the management of the administration.”

This is hypocrisy at its best because the ANC is allowed to interfere in the appointment of staff. The DA will not allow a situation whereby Metro officials bungle the HR policies just to score political favours with ANC politicians.

In my research, I also discovered that 70% of all the firefighters in Mangaung who are working shifts, have expired medical qualifications. According to the South African Emergency Services Institute (SAESI), this is illegal.

What would the legal implications be if there’s an accident and a patient dies because of a fire-fighter’s incompetence?

The Metro is currently in the process of shortlisting firefighters. The DA will monitor the process and will push for the appointment of qualified candidates. We cannot afford to sacrifice competent candidates because of political connections. The DA will fight for fair HR practices that are independent of political influence

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