Local government MEC Anton Bredell Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – The Stellenbosch Municipality has once again been accused of unfair practice, this time for the awarding of a 10-year contract to its municipal director, Annalene de Beer.

De Beer, like mayor Gesie van Deventer, moved from the Drakenstein Municipality to Stellenbosch. Independent councillor Franklin Adam said unlike the council-approved conditions of the post, which stipulates the position is a five-year contact, De Beer was awarded a 10-year-contract.

According to Adams, De Beer was the first person in the DA-run municipality to receive a 10-year contract for the position and opposition councillors were taken aback by it.

Adams discovered the contract while in conversation with another person, and since May when he queried it, he had not received a valid reason, he said. 

Because the Stellenbosch Municipality is smaller than Drakenstein, Adams said De Beer also negotiated for a higher salary.

An application to waive the salary limits for the director post, which the Cape Times has seen, was rejected by the then-minister of Co-operative Governance, Des van Rooyen.

Van Rooyen “could not find evidence to justify exceptional circumstances and good cause shown to waive the prescribed requirements”.

Adams, who represents the Democratic New Civic Association, charged that De Beer had been awarded the post even though it had not been presented to, or approved by the council.

“Since May I have been asking the same question; why, and why they had lied to the council, but I have been ignored.

“She is the first one to receive a 10-year contract. There is another position vacant, but it’s for a period of five years. When I asked them to make the post for 10 years, it was voted off,” Adams said.

Van Deventer has denied unfair practice. He said De Beer was appointed following due process and in accordance with the Municipal Systems Act.

Van Deventer said: “No exceptions were made for De Beer. The longer-term contract was granted in the interest of stability in the administration, as the Stellenbosch Municipality has had, over prolonged periods, acting executive directors and municipal managers in the past.”

Van Deventer went on to say the appointment had been approved by local government MEC Anton Bredell.

Bredell’s department did not respond to questions.

De Beer said although she did not have the authority to respond to questions, no irregularities relating to her appointment had been raised.

“The regulations on the appointment of senior managers codified in terms of the Systems Act allow permanent contracts or longer-term contracts (up until the age of 65) and even longer if approved by the national minister for section 56 managers.

“The 10-year period is therefore not out of the ordinary for section 56 managers in the Western Cape, or illegal, and was requested with the legislation in mind,” De Beer said.

Cape Times