News / South Africa / Politics
Opposition parties say cadre deployment has significantly lowered the bar for hiring local government employees.
A complaint to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane reveals several managers employed at Ditsobotla local municipality in the North West were employed despite their highest qualification being Grade 11.
The phrase Grade 11 trended for two days on Twitter this week, following the complaint.
The ANC in Johannesburg says it has high standards, but deployees have the final say when hiring administrative personnel.
According to ANC greater Joburg region spokesperson Sasabona Manganye, local government cannot afford to employ unqualified people.
The ANC is aware that failure to perform by administration employees is carried by politicians in the eyes of the voters.
According to the ANC deployment policy, people in executive positions, such as director-generals and chief executives, are deployed according to the constitutional mandate and the party’s transformation policies.
“The president, premiers and mayor have the prerogative to appoint their executive councils.
“The ANC respects such constitutional powers and appreciates the fact that the ANC gets consulted when such appointments are made,” says Manganye.
“As part of its quest to renew itself, the ANC has now developed criteria for selecting mayors. This includes a screening process where mayors are interviewed before recommended for election. This will be done even for premiers.”
Employing administration personnel is not within the party’s cadre deployment policy and Manganye claimsmost administration employees in municipalities the ANC governs are not card-carrying party members.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been highly critical of the ANC’s cadre deployment policy and has accused the party of hiring less-than-qualified individuals to high-powered positions as a means to facilitate corruption.
DA mayoral candidate for Joburg Mpho Phalatse says most nonpolitical public service positions reasonably require certain tertiary qualifications because of the highly technical skills demanded of the job.
“The DA believes these requirements must always be met when filling posts.
“Without employing qualified individuals in the public service, you compromise the optimal functionality of the government.
“With political positions such as councillor or MP, the DA believes that fit for purpose still applies,” she says.
They might not be required to have a degree to serve as a ward councillor, but they should be able to attend council meetings, become knowledgeable in their committee portfolio, report and constantly monitor service delivery issues in their community.
They also need to be accessible, accountable and demonstrate leadership and integrity in everything they do.
Anything short of this is not acceptable.
ActionSA mayoral candidate for Durban Dr Makhosi Khoza, says in her experience working with local governments in KwaZulu-Natal, she has witnessed baffling scenarios where a deputy director-general with a PhD, for example, is answering to someone whose highest qualification is that of a librarian.
“We want to start promoting a culture of excellence and not only hire people because of black economic empowerment or affirmative action,” she says.
“If you have the right qualifications and experience, we will hire you.”