Opposition questions employment of couple at Western Cape treasury
Cape Town - Opposition legislators have questioned the provincial treasury’s adherence to employment equity policies after it emerged that two senior officials, in a romantic relationship, were employed, and that one is the other's direct subordinate.
The information came in a written answer from Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier to questions asked by Good MPL Brett Herron.
Herron had asked whether the fact that the department’s fiscal and economic services DDG’s relationship with his partner, who was appointed as chief director for local government public finance, was a conflict of interest.
MEC Maynier said: “The two officials were appointed and assumed duty on August 1, 2020. Both appointments were made by strictly adhering to the prescripts that govern recruitment and selection in the public service.”
On the conflict of interest for the DDG when appointing his partner as Chief Director, Maynier said: “The DDG played no role and had no influence whatsoever in the appointment of the Chief Director. The two recruitment processes ran separately and independently.”
Maynier said the relationship was disclosed by both candidates on being offered the positions and that both officials report directly to the HOD in terms of performance management, pay, roles and responsibilities.
Reacting to Maynier’s answers Herron said: “MEC Maynier’s confirmation exposes the good governance claim for what it is, a sham.
“I am also concerned about the claim that there were no suitable applicants for either of the two vacancies and that the only suitable applicants for these two positions were these two who are in a relationship.
“The suggestion that there are no suitably qualified employment equity candidates is unconvincing, especially since the MEC admits they went head-hunting. We will be following up on this. It smacks of a buddy-buddy package deal.”
Provincial opposition leader Cameron Dugmore (ANC) said: “This is another example of the DA provincial government’s blatant undermining of employment equity and their failure to set clear targets to achieve representivity.
“We will approach the Employment Equity Commission as well as the Public Service Commission to fully investigate these appointments.”
EFF MPL Nosipho Makamba-Botya said: “We live in a society and a province where people of colour have always struggled to find jobs, especially in senior government positions which the DA-led government always reserved for whites.
As the EFF, it is our view that the department must remedy the situation by removing those two white people from those positions. Then it must re-advertise those posts and appoint candidates reflecting the social demographics of our country, and make sure there is no conflict of interest this time around.”