City whips slack staff

2020-02-06 11:55
City Hallâ??s Clock tower keeps ticking. The Msunduzi municipality has managed to keep ahead of the problem the pigeons keep dropping. Photo. Jonathan Burton8BIM

City Hallâ??s Clock tower keeps ticking. The Msunduzi municipality has managed to keep ahead of the problem the pigeons keep dropping. Photo. Jonathan Burton8BIM (File)

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Msunduzi is finally cracking the whip on its unruly workforce.

It is holding municipal employees accountable for their actions as part of efforts to restore stability at City Hall.

This was detailed in a confidential report on consequence management that was recently received by the council’s watchdog — the municipal public accounts committee (MPAC).

The document was compiled to update the committee on the status of disciplinary cases recorded between July 2019 and January 15 this year.

During this period, the City registered 36 disciplinary cases against employees, and effected three dismissals, a single resignation with immediate effect and 19 final written warnings with 10 days’ suspension without pay.

Some 22 employees are currently on suspension with investigations still in progress, said the report.

Some of those affected by disciplinary action taken against them include former City boss Sizwe Hadebe, who resigned with immediate effect after reaching a settlement with council.

Boniwe Zulu, who was the head of community services, also lost a case of misconduct brought against her and was eventually dismissed, but she was reportedly trying to appeal council’s decision to fire her.

Only the sustainable development and city enterprises unit did not have disciplinary cases recorded between July and January. Community services had the highest number of suspensions at 14.

One of the most notable suspensions effected during the reported period is that of the head of security and risk management, Kwenza Khumalo.

Corporate services recorded one dismissal and one suspension while the finance department also had one dismissal and five suspensions.

Yesterday, MPAC chairperson Mary Schalkwyk said the committee welcomed the report and applauded those responsible for ensuring that officials were held accountable for their actions.

MPAC made a request for the consequence management report on several occasions as some of its members felt errant officials were getting away with misconduct at the expense of the people of Msunduzi.

“We give credit to the fact that eventually the official in the highest office of the municipality is taking action against the wrongdoers.

“We share a view that as part of correcting a wrong, there must be punishment that must be augmented out and that punishment must be sufficient enough in accordance to what the person has done wrong,” she said.

Schalkwyk said the committee encouraged City management to continue dealing harshly with those who failed in their duties or committed acts of misconduct, as that would deter their peers from doing the same.

She said as part of consequence management, the City also needed to not just look at the bad apples, but also recognise those who were going the extra mile in their duties.

ACDP’s Rienus Niemand said the report marked a critical point in the turnaround of Msunduzi. He said while it might not have been comprehensive enough, it showed willingness by the acting City manager, Nelisiwe Ngcobo, and the administrator, Sibusiso Sithole, to implement consequence management. “That would in turn send a signal to perpetrators and the public alike that there is action being taken.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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