Parties accuse Vhembe municipality of ignoring calls for women appointments

Opposition parties are not impressed with qualifications and ‘cadre deployment’.


The new municipal manager of the Vhembe District Municipality in Limpopo has come under fire, with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Democratic Alliance (DA) accusing him of lacking vision and experience. The parties also accused the municipality of brushing aside the ANC Women’s League’s calls for women appointments in all government departments and municipalities as managers, heads of departments and chief executive officers, as males dominated the running of all municipalities in the five districts of Mopani, Vhembe, Sekhukhune, Waterberg and Capricorn. The Limpopo department of cooperative governance, human settlement and traditional affairs, led by MEC Basikop Makamu, said…

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The new municipal manager of the Vhembe District Municipality in Limpopo has come under fire, with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Democratic Alliance (DA) accusing him of lacking vision and experience.

The parties also accused the municipality of brushing aside the ANC Women’s League’s calls for women appointments in all government departments and municipalities as managers, heads of departments and chief executive officers, as males dominated the running of all municipalities in the five districts of Mopani, Vhembe, Sekhukhune, Waterberg and Capricorn.

The Limpopo department of cooperative governance, human settlement and traditional affairs, led by MEC Basikop Makamu, said 25 of the 27 councils have managers appointed on a five-year fixed term, while only two are run by acting municipal managers.

Of the 25 councils, 23 are run by males and only two by females. Zwannda Kutama is the 25th male appointed as new municipal boss for Vhembe.

He started working on Monday and was met with a barrage of questions by the opposition. But municipal spokesperson Matodzi Ralushai said yesterday Kutama was the most suitable candidate for the job.

“He has a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of Venda, Bachelor of Technology in Management from the University of Durban and a postgraduate diploma in marketing management from IMM Graduate School of Marketing, among many other qualifications.

“Kutama has expertise in strategic management and operational leadership, which is needed for effective administration of the Vhembe district municipality,” said Ralushai.

“He has served in various senior management positions during his 20 years of experience in public service, gaining diverse capacity in providing services to the people of Limpopo.

“The district expects his wealth of administrative knowledge will improve council’s service delivery mandate.”

But the EFF begged to differ. Its provincial chair, Tshilidzi Maraga, said Kutama did not have any experience in local governance.

“Managing grants will never be tantamount to managing a district municipality. This requires a lot of experience in local governance, which would, in turn, help the council to produce good audit outcomes, good municipal infrastructure grant (MIG) spending and provide good financial health throughout the financial year.”

Maraga said the reason Limpopo councils were on the brink of collapse was because the ANC-led government appointed people on an experimental basis.

“The collapse of local government is primarily linked to wrong appointments based on political allegiance and friendship. Local government is at the bedrock of service delivery. It is therefore critical that right qualifications and experience always supercede cadre deployment,” she said.

The DA also expressed concern.

“We want to know who the other candidates were during the interviews and what their qualifications are, versus those of Kutama,” said Risham Maharaj, DA Member of the Provincial Legislature.

“In light of the current poor service delivery in terms of the provision of water and sanitation, we expected the new manager to be somebody who would have vast experience in how local governance works.” he said.

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