Call to sup­port act­ing man­ager

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - By SUE MACLENNAN

In a move hailed across party di­vides as pos­i­tive, Man­ager of the Sarah Baart­man Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Ted Pil­lay has been sec­onded to Makana for three months as of yes­ter­day, Thurs­day 1 Fe­bru­ary. In the first full Coun­cil meet­ing of 2018 on Wednesday, both ANC and DA coun­cil­lors called for of­fi­cials, politi­cians and res­i­dents alike to get be­hind Pil­lay in his ef­forts to put the em­bat­tled mu­nic­i­pal­ity back on its feet.

The of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment came soon af­ter a dis­cus­sion on the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s qual­i­fied au­dit on the ba­sis of nu­mer­ous non-com­pli­ance is­sues.

Also in this week’s coun­cil meet­ing was con­fir­ma­tion of a 6% in­crease in the re­mu­ner­a­tion pack­ages of coun­cil­lors.

In her open­ing ad­dress to the Coun­cil, Mayor Nomhle Gaga re­sponded to claims by the Con­cerned Ci­ti­zens to Save Makana (CCSM) group as re­ported in Gro­cott’s Mail and other me­dia that she had mis­led ci­ti­zens re­gard­ing the ap­point­ment of an act­ing mu­nic­i­pal man­ager.

“I will never mis­lead this Coun­cil,” Gaga said, ex­plain­ing how the ab­sence of cer­tain key of­fi­cials had slowed the process of se­cur­ing an agree­ment with the Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity to have an act­ing MM sec­onded to Makana.

In a state­ment is­sued yes­ter­day the mu­nic­i­pal­ity said that af­ter nu­mer­ous at­tempts to get a sec­ond­ment for Sec­tion 154 from the Depart­ment of Cor­po­rate Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs (Cogta) for Makana, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to­gether with Sarah Baart­man Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity had for­mally agreed to sec­ond Pil­lay.

“This comes af­ter the Coun­cil re­jected the per­son sec­onded by COGTA due to ex­or­bi­tant ex­penses he re­quired,” the state­ment said. “It is with great ex­cite­ment to an­nounce that Mr Pil­lay will be the Act- ing Mu­nic­i­pal Man­ager for the next three months, start­ing on 01 Fe­bru­ary 2018 un­til 30 April 2018, with all his ex­penses paid for by the dis­trict.” Pil­lay would re­port to Coun­cil and would be ex­pected to as­sist the in­sti­tu­tion in the ap­point­ment of the Mu­nic­i­pal Man­ager; im­prove­ment of rev­enue col­lec­tion; as­sess­ment of ma­jor out­stand­ing cred­i­tors; im­prov­ing staff morale; re­duc­ing ex­ces­sive over­time; im­prov­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery and lob­by­ing for fund­ing.

DA spokesper­son Mlindi Mhanha said the party was re­lieved at Pil­lay’s ap­point­ment and was of the opin­ion that he was the best man for the job.

“We be­lieve in his abil­i­ties and his track record speaks for it­self. We are how­ever con­cerned that three months may not be suf­fi­cient for him to turn the mu­nic­i­pal­ity around and a per­ma­nent MM must be ap­pointed sooner rather than later,” Nhanha said.

“We call on res­i­dents, coun­cil­lors, staff and labour unions to sup­port Mr Pil­lay dur­ing his ten­ure at the helm of the ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

The DA in Makana, to­wards the end of last year, urged the MEC for Co­op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs (COGTA), Fik­ile Xasa, to dis­solve the Coun­cil and hold fresh elec­tions within 90 days. They re­tracted their call on the ba­sis that Pil­lay would be sec­onded to Makana.

The CCSM cried foul when it emerged that the re­quest for Pil­lay to be sec­onded had not ap­peared on any agenda for the Dis­trict Coun­cil by the end of last year.

Photo: Sue Maclennan

Ted Pil­lay is act­ing mu­nic­i­pal man­ager at Makana for three months.

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