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Mandla Mnguni to steer the Municipality ahead

After more than twenty-four years serving the municipality, and by extension the community, in various positions, Mr Mandla Mnguni, was officially given the nod by Council to take the reins as Municipal Manager with effect from 01 September 2022, for a period of five years, in line with the Municipal Systems Act.

He was appointed after a stringent nationwide recruitment, and selection process, for which 59 candidates applied. He was shortlisted and unanimously appointed by Council.

Mr Mnguni has been inundated with a series of meetings in order to resolve a long standing impasse related to workers’ demands, primarily the grading of the Municipality from level 4 to level 5.

On his arrival, he also had to deal with the shooting death of a municipal employee, Mr Tshepo Maseko, by outsourced security guards on 17 August 2022. Three other employees were wounded.

This matter is still under police investigation, and pending in court.

“As an Accounting Officer, I hereby pass a motion of condolences to the family of Tshepo Maseko and wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured. Very soon, the Municipality and stakeholders will find a way to handle this matter in a humane and reconciliatory way,” Mr Mnguni says.

Remarkably, he lifted suspensions of 16 employee leaders, and other workers pending a disciplinary process, to be dealt with individually on merit.

Further engagements with other stakeholders, such as Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU), Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) and Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), were held, in the signing of a reviewed settlement agreement on 07 September 2022, which amongst other matters, affirms the Municipality as a Grade 5 institution, as per the recommendations of the 21st Century report, a service provider appointed by Council.

Mnguni appreciated the spirit in which grievances were amicably resolved and, subsequently workers decided to resume their duties, and tackle all service delivery backlogs.

Mr Mnguni holds a plethora of qualifications, including a Bachelor of Administration, with Honours from the University of Limpopo.

He also studied an outcomes-based programme offered by the Wits Business School on Municipal Development (CPMD).

At the University of Pretoria, he recently obtained a Master’s degree in Corporate Strategy through the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

He brings vast experience and knowledge in Local Government and the Private Sector, working his way up Administrative Clerk to Executive Director Corporate Services from 1995 until 2000.

Upon the expiry of his contract, he was then appointed as Director Corporate Services of Rand Water Board in Mbombela from 2007 to 2011.

In 2011 he was re-appointed in the Municipality as Director Legal Services, and later promoted to the position of Deputy Municipal Manager in 2015.

Mr Mnguni replaced Municipal Manager Mr Willie Fouche after his retirement, in an acting position. He resigned in February 2018.

Throughout his tenure in Local Government, he demonstrated an astute capacity and knowledge, contributing toward the development of the Municipality’s Vision 2040, outlining local economic development, the smart city concept and infrastructure development.

After his resignation, he was appointed as a Chief Executive Officer of the State Diamond Trader. Because of his exemplary work ethic, Mr Mnguni was able to execute the mandate of the company with much success, earning a clean audit outcome during the 2021/2022 financial year, and leaving the institution financially viable.

During an Ordinary Council sitting held on 01 September, Council congratulated Mr Mnguni and wished him all the best. Council also noted, with appreciation, the commitment of the community, stakeholders, organized business, political parties, and municipal workers, to partner with Mr Mnguni in the interest of service delivery, and growth of the Municipality.

“I really appreciate the confidence bestowed upon me by Council. I commit to achieve the municipality’s vision, as contained in the integrated development plan. We shall use the available resources available in the adopted budget to deal with service delivery and infrastructure backlogs,” Mr Mnguni says.

He further alluded that issues related to the implementation of the indigent policy, billing system, Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (Spluma), approval of building plans, customer care, backlog of service delivery on electricity, water provision, sewers, road maintenance, residential stand allocations, renewal of licenses et al, are on top of his priority list.

He added that in consultation with IMATU and SAMWU, the Local Labour Forum (LLF) will be revived so that a healthy and cordial relationship between the employer and employees is improved.

“I would like to thank the Pastors for conducting a prayer and restoration service on 08 September which was attended by some community members, councillors and workers. We believe that God will assist us to heal our broken hearts,” concluded Mnguni.”

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