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Social Development action plan on irregular appointments

The Public Protector report shows a number of candidates in Polokwane and the Vhembe district being hired without meeting the minimum requirements.

POLOKWANE – Based on the Public Protector’s (PP) recommendations in a report on irregular employment processes undertaken in 2020 by executives of the Department of Social Development, the 30 calendar day period in which the HOD was expected to submit an action plan, lapsed on January 29.

Desmond Mahopo was given from December 29 to submit plans to correct the damning findings uncovered in the report – among others the hiring of 62 care workers and team leaders at the Polokwane Welfare Complex (PWC) and 36 posts elsewhere in the Vhembe District without the candidates having met the minimum requirements.

The circular of the 98 advertised posts was dated December 13, 2019 according to the PP report.

The report also listed what at the time were allegations against these employees from an anonymous complainant who brought the matter before the PP, Kholeka Gcaleka to investigate.

The list includes, among others, one person who was appointed as a care worker without having a National Senior Certificate (NSC).

Six others did not have the relevant qualifications or experience for the position and five team leader incumbents did not have basic child care qualifications as required in the advertisement.

The report further notes that former Bosasa employees who applied for the care worker post, and who were in possession of the correct qualifications, only attended a one-week training course offered and coordinated by Bosasa in order to enable them to obtain the certificate.

None of the recipients of the certificate underwent any competency examinations.

The PP in her findings conceded that the shortlisting, interviewing, recommendation and appointment of all the candidates who did not meet the qualification requirements as set out in the advertisement, were irregular and that this was tantamount to maladministration.

Mahopo’s submission should align with a list of remedial actions stated in the report, including that those implicated should be released from the posts, the PP recommended.

Departmental spokesperson, Joshua Kwapa referred Polokwane Observer to Provincial Government for comment.

Government spokesperson Ndavhe Ramakuela acknowledged that the submission timeline for the HOD was extended, “given the short time frame from when it was received”.

He said the PP report gave Provincial Government the directive to take “appropriate steps against the HOD for not exercising proper oversight”.

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