Harold Mcgluwa, MPL
DA Northern Cape: Provincial Chairperson
082 383 6914
The Democratic Alliance is satisfied that the vacant position of municipal manager (MM) of Siyathemba municipality in Prieska is to be re-advertised. This comes after the DA yesterday kicked up a fuss about the intended appointment of Patrick Lenyibi to this very senior post.
DA Siyathemba councillor, Gregory Mackay, attended a special council meeting this morning at which Lenyibi’s appointment to the post was scheduled to be ratified. Whilst Mackay was ready to vote against the appointment, he was pleasantly surprised that Lenyibi’s appointment, which was noted as point three on the Agenda, had been squashed. Mackay said Lenyibi’s name was not even mentioned in the council meeting and, instead, council committed itself to re-advertise the position and to find a suitable candidate for the post.
The DA yesterday vehemently opposed Lenyibi’s appointment as it is questionable whether Lenyibi possesses the required skills, competences and qualifications prescribed for the post. Lenyibi’s track record is also worrying, as he is one of a series of ANC role players responsible for the demise of the Sol Plaatje municipality which has since become characterized by disclaimers and severe maintenance backlogs of bulk infrastructure. Lenyibi is further implicated in a corruption case relating to a fraudulent tender.
While the DA welcomes Siyathemba municipality’s about-turn on Lenyibi’s appointment, which would have been in direct contravention of the Local Government Municipal Systems Amendment Act, we remain concerned about the impact that the vacant position of municipal manager is having on service delivery in Prieska. The MM position has already been vacant for more than six months, all of which time the municipality’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has been acting in this position. The CFO’s ongoing acting appointment (from his fourth month in this position), is questionable. The Local Government Municipal Systems Amendment Act states that, as a principle, a once-off acting appointment may be considered for a period not exceeding three months to enable the municipality to conclude its recruitment and selection process. It further indicates that a municipal council may, in exceptional circumstances, and on good cause shown, apply in writing to the MEC of local government for the extension of the three months period of an acting appointment, for a further period not exceeding three months. It is doubtful whether this process has been followed in terms of the additional three month extension, never mind the fact that the CFO is already acting for the seventh month. This also has direct financial and legal implications in terms of the CFO signing in both his capacities as CFO and MM and could also slow progress on programmes and projects.
I will write to the Northern Cape MEC of local government, Kenneth Mmoeimang, requesting him to intervene in the situation. Mmoeimang should ascertain whether proper processes pertaining to the acting appointment of the MM have indeed been followed, as well as speed up the long overdue appointment of this critical post.