Nomvume Ralarala
Cape Town - A Western Cape civil servant who claims she has been passed over for promotion for a post in the Department of Social Development since 2011, is appealing to Premier Alan Winde to investigate her matter as she believes she has been unfairly treated.

Nomvume Ralarala, who is also the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) deputy president, said she was encouraged to speak out after the Premier declared recently that he would not shy away from fighting corruption.

Ralarala is supported by Shaheed Mahomed, the acting spokesperson (Western Cape) for the Socialist Revolutionary Workers’ Party, of which she is a member.

According to Ralarala, she performed the duties of an acting deputy director for three-and-a-half years, before an approval to fill the position was granted. During the pre-selection phase of the vacant position, for which she duly applied, no adequate candidate was found and the position was re-advertised.

The short-listing process was finalised and the short-listing submission was submitted to Social Development MEC Albert Fritz for consideration and appointment. The shortlist was not approved following a provincial cabinet decision to re-prioritise due to budget constraints. However, it was also decided that there would be a new project, Early Childhood Development (ECD).

Mahomed said: “Somehow it was then decided that the department now had new priorities and an ECD deputy director would be appointed instead and the funds diverted from the post of deputy director partnership development.

“The ECD deputy director post was not advertised but was filled without due process from outside the department. This is highly irregular and a breach of fair process and the department’s own rules.

“The ECD Deputy Director post came to an end in 2017 but the Department cannot account for what has happened to the funds subsequently, nor do they have any explanation why I have not been permanently appointed in a post I have acted in for more than eight years.”

Responding to her appeal, the premier’s office said that although Ralarala’s original appeal was in the form of a written letter to the former premier, “we will look into the issues raised by the complainant to determine what action has been taken and whether further action is required”.

“Premier Winde takes allegations of corruption very seriously,” the premier’s spokesman, Bianca Capazorio said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Esther Lewis, head of communications at the Department of Social Development, said: “The employee concerned is not a deputy director (level 11). She is an assistant director (level 10, Grade 3) community development policy developer.

“The employee lodged a dispute about the matter in July 2015 in the Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council and was unsuccessful. The matter was therefore regarded as finalised”.

Referring to the ECD controversy, the department said, “The Public Service Act states that funded, vacant posts in government departments must be advertised. All who meet the requirements - including internal staff - are free to apply, and go through the normal recruitment process.”

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Cape Argus