Big bucks for uMngeni municipal manager

2019-10-11 13:39
ANC flag. (Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

ANC flag. (Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

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As uMngeni Municipality bosses duck questions about their decision to appoint Thembeka Cibane as municipal manager despite her not meeting the requirements for the post, it has since emerged that the council has been paying her more than it should.

Former Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, had approved Cibane’s appointment on condition that she be paid R82 000 a month, R24 000 less than the maximum salary level of the post.

However, documents obtained by The Witness show that the municipality’s political bosses ignored Dube-Ncube’s directive.

In 2017, shortly after her appointment, Cibane was being paid the maximum rate of R106 000 a month, with her monthly salary escalating to R112 000 a month in the current financial year. Dube-Ncube had instructed the municipality to remunerate Cibane at the lowest salary range after a pre-employment assessment conducted by an independent human resources company had found that Cibane did not meet the minimum requirements for the municipal manager position.

Responding to uMngeni mayor Sizwe Sokhela’s motivation letter for Cibane to be appointed as municipal manager, Dube-Ncube, in her response dated October 2, 2017, wrote: “As the candidate’s annual remuneration package was not specified in the draft letter of appointment dated the 19th of September 2017, Council is advised to offer the minimum total remuneration package of a category 3 municipality considering that the competency achievement level of the appointed candidate is basic”.

A former ANC Youth League and Provincial Executive Committee member, Cibane was previously municipal manager at the much smaller Ndwedwe Municipality.

The assessment report made it clear that Cibane’s previous position did not sufficiently prepare her for the current post.

Democratic Alliance uMngeni Municipality councillor Pam Passmoor said the party had been opposed to Cibane’s appointment from the beginning.

“Prior to Cibane’s appointment in 2017, serious concerns were raised by the opposition councillors. There have been some very strange, if not questionable, decisions made during her tenure,” she said.

Cogta said it was investigating the Cibane matter while Sokhela could not be reached for comment.

Irregularities in ANC-led municipalities such as uMngeni have compelled the ruling party in the province to adopt a tough stance against officials and mayors who disregard municipal processes.

In August the ANC axed eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede and Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo after accusing them of failing to discharge their oversight duties in municipalities which they had been leading.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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