Call to fast-track appointment of permanent deputy managers
The city approved the acting positions for the city manager’s post, DCM for Corporate and Human Resources, DCM for Governance and International Relations and DCM for Trading Services.
While city manager Sipho Nzuza’s three-month suspension lapsed this week, eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda approved his application for special leave. In a confidential report to the city’s executive committee, which The Mercury has seen, Nzuza applied for a three-month special leave of absence as there had been “insignificant” progress in the investigation against him.
The council noted that his special leave was granted as the investigation against him was still pending and his bail conditions made it difficult for him to execute his duties as the accounting officer.
The council then approved the extension of the acting appointment of Sipho Cele in this position for the next three months, ending September26.
Kim Makhathini’s contract as acting DCM for Corporate and Human Resources was extended for another three months.
Adele Seheri was appointed as acting DCM for Governance and International Relations for a period of three months, ending in September.
Council approved the appointment of Lawrence Pato to act in the position of DCM for Trading Services, which include electricity, water and Durban Solid Waste.
Pato is expected to hold this position for at least six months, with effect from July1.
DA caucus leader Nicole Graham said the frequency with which heads of units were changed raised concerns as many of these departments were specialised units that needed leaders with the correct expertise.
Graham said the constant “chopping and changing” of unit heads resulted in lack of stability among the critical units.
“You need someone in charge who understands the issues faced in those units and is there long enough to address those issues. It is very difficult to create a stable managing team if it is changing all the time.”
She called on the municipality to fast-track the appointments of permanent and skilled leaders in those units.
The IFP’s Mdu Nkosi said that the problem lay in the length of time people held the acting posts.
“People need to be appointed permanently.
"By continuously having people act in these positions, there is no consistency to strengthen the department or measure how employees are performing,” he said.
Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the city was aware of the vacant DCM positions.
“Please note that no service delivery has been hindered by this. The city continues to strive to ensure that all the service delivery needs of residents are met,” he said.
Mayisela said the city should be given space to allow for the necessary human resources and recruitment processes to run their course.