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IN space of less than a year the Ugu District municipality has lost four of its key managers.
Earlier this year municipalities Corporate Services general manager, Vuyiwe Tsako resigned just a few weeks after being re-appointed to the position for the next five years.
According to insiders she was forced to resign, even though her contract was renewed, because the union was unhappy with her and claimed to have sensitive information on her.
Earlier this year, the local media reported that members of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) had called for her contract not to be renewed, amid claims that she had been preventing the municipality from maintaining a good relationship with its workers.
Ms Tsako was then followed by senior Project Manager Unit (PMU) Chuma Mqoboli and area manager South under Water Services (SMWS) Malibongwe Luswazi.
Recently reports had surfaced that general manager water service Lungi Cele has decide to quit amid allegations of contractor pressure. Her resignation was effective from July, 26. Her contract was due to expire next year in May.
Source claims that the spate of resignations follows the mounting pressure from senior management and a certain ‘contractor’ with close relations to a senior official, who made it difficult for most managers to carry out their duties,” said the source
“In some cases managers are forced to sign tenders without proper procurement procedures just because the contactor is close to a certain senior official,” said the source Inkatha Freedom party Leader Simphiwe Mthetwa told Fever that the municipality is losing most of its key manager and that is raising eyebrows.
“The municipality is currently facing water crises and the employees who are competent and have the understanding of service delivery are leaving the municipality,” said Mr. Mthwethwa.
He said Forensic audit should be conducted on what is happening within the municipality.
DA caucus leader Leonard Ngcobo said that the municipality is currently facing so many challenges and the resigning of managers was of great concern.
“At this stage the municipality should come up with a turnaround strategy that will save it from being technically bankrupt,” he said. Mr Ngcobo also mentioned that, in the three months the municipality would be owing almost 600 million rand if the strategy had not been designed in three months.
Municipal manager DD Naidoo said many managers had left the municipality and the service delivery had not been affected. Ugu district municipality spokesperson France Zama said the resignation of an employee in any workplace is a “unilateral act” taken by that individual employee concerned and this was not a uniquely Ugu District Municipality phenomenon.
“There is nothing untoward about the recent resignations as the individuals concerned have made choices to pursue their career interest somewhere else,” said Zama.
He said the municipality has a clear adopted Supply Chain Management policy which dictates due processes to be followed in dealing with municipal tenders, therefore claims of unsavoury acts forcing members to resign were baseless and mischievous seeking to mislead the public.
“Local government is a highly regulated environment and our municipality is no exception therefore our service providers have no locus standi to exert any form of pressure on the municipality and on how it conducts its operations,” said Zama.