End to cadre deployment urged
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.”