Cape Argus

End to cadre de­ploy­ment urged

- MWANGI GITHAHU mwangi.githahu@inl.co.za South Africa News · Society · Politics · Civil Society · Human Rights · Ahmed Kathrada · African National Congress · South Africa · Africa · Dullah Omar

CADRE de­ploy­ment into critical po­si­tions of lead­er­ship in mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, such as se­nior- and mid­dle-man­age­ment, must stop, a group of 35 civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions from across the coun­try has said.

The or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clude the Ahmed Kathrada Foun­da­tion, the Black Sash, the Dul­lah Omar In­sti­tute, the South African Na­tional Civic Or­gan­i­sa­tion, and the Un­em­ployed Peo­ple’s Move­ment of South Africa.

Launch­ing a cam­paign for re­forms in the lo­cal gov­ern­ment sec­tor in line with sug­ges­tions made in the out­go­ing Au­di­tor-Gen­eral Kimi Mak­wetu’s last mu­nic­i­pal au­dit re­port, the group de­manded that ap­point­ment of po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists be lim­ited to coun­cil­lors.

Public ser­vice ac­count­abil­ity mon­i­tor Luyanda Shi­langu said: “We have nar­rowed the mea­sures we need to take take down to a list of seven, which in­clude strength­en­ing over­sight and the em­ploy­ment of of­fi­cials who have the nec­es­sary qual­i­fi­ca­tions, ex­pe­ri­ence or ap­ti­tude to do the job they are ap­pointed to do.

“We re­quire a pro­fes­sional cadre of mu­nic­i­pal lead­er­ship and tech­ni­cians. Keep your de­ploy­ment pro­cesses only in coun­cil ap­point­ments and not in the ad­min­is­tra­tion,” said Shi­langu.

The ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Afe­sis-Cor­plan, Non­thando Ngam­lana, said: “We are putting for­ward some game-chang­ing low-hang­ing fruit that is nec­es­sary to turn the tide of lo­cal gov­ern­ment, and are sig­nalling that we want to work with the gov­ern­ment.

“We’re say­ing that the trans­for­ma­tion of South Africa de­pends on change in lo­cal gov­ern­ment and there­fore we can­not sit by and do noth­ing, es­pe­cially as our work in­volves so­cial jus­tice and trans­for­ma­tion.”

The ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Democ­racy Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme, Paul Kar­iuki, said: “The state of lo­cal gov­ern­ment has largely been a con­tested space where we have seen failed ac­count­abil­ity, in­creased politi­ci­sa­tion of public ser­vice, a lim­ited de­sire to change the sta­tus quo, in­creased tol­er­ance for cor­rup­tion and poor public par­tic­i­pa­tion in mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.”

In June Mak­wetu re­leased the mu­nic­i­pal au­dit re­sults un­der the theme, “Not much to go around, yet not the right hands at the till”. In his re­port he said: “The safe and clean hands that can be re­lied upon to look af­ter the public’s fi­nances in lo­cal gov­ern­ment are few and far be­tween.”

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