The appointment of a new municipal manager in Limpopo’s Mopani district municipality has caused more ructions, with the Democratic Alliance (DA) claiming he is incompetent.
The DA said the new municipal manager, Quiet Kgatla, was ineffective, inefficient and incapable of delivering the beleaguered municipality to sustainability, as demanded by Auditor-General (AG) Kimi Makwetu and Limpopo premier Stan Mathabatha.
The municipality got an adverse audit opinion from the AG in 2016, a disclaimer in 2017 and an adverse opinion again in 2018. At all these times, the DA claimed the council was under the guidance of Kgatla, when he was either acting municipal manager or chief finance officer.
The DA claimed Kgatla was appointed without due processes being followed in line with the labour law. “The decision to promote him was imposed on councillors, without being given a chance to debate the appointment,” said a DA councillor in the Mopani district municipality.
DA councillor Marie Helm said Kgatla’s track record spoke volumes about the direction the municipality was heading in. She alleged when the municipality was under his stewardship, tender irregularities, mismanagement of funds, corruption, nepotism, and wasteful, irregular and unauthorised expenditure were the order of the day.
“There is little hope that Kgatla will have the skills, expertise and competencies to make any positive changes in this council as he hugely contributed towards the downfall of this municipality since his entrance in 2016.
“We are still struggling to pay all service providers because of his incompetence. We still have outstanding bills to the value of R1 billion because of his incompetence.
“We therefore expect nothing from Kgatla but disastrous leadership and bad management because tenders will still be awarded to friends and comrades as a reward for backing him up to become the municipal manager.
“We have written to MEC for cooperative governance, human settlements and traditional affairs Basikopo Makamu, requesting he reverse the appointment.”
Yesterday, Makamu said he took the DA’s claims seriously. He had forwarded the DA’s concerns to the mayor Pule Shayi for an explanation. “If found to be true, heads will definitely roll.”
Shayi was unavailable, but municipal spokesperson Odas Ngobeni said the allegations were untrue. “The [municipal manager’s] post was advertised, interviews conducted, competency assessments done by an independent institution and council approved,” he said.