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Msunduzi Municipality sets aside funds to fill vacancies

The Msunduzi Municipality has set aside R70 million to fill some of the critical vacancies affecting its operations.

Pietermaritzburg's City Hall. File Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 28, 2022


Durban - The Msunduzi Municipality has set aside R70 million to fill some of the critical vacancies affecting its operations.

A report on the state of the municipality by former administrator Scelo Duma showed almost 48% of the positions in the municipality were vacant. However, Msunduzi mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla said the report had detailed matters, some of which were already dealt with.

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He added that the organogram was also being reviewed to determine the exact number of vacancies.

Duma left the post in March, and Martin Sithole has been appointed as the new administrator.

The report said there were some interventions being put in place to address the problem, and about 200 positions have been advertised.

“It is common cause that the municipality has set aside R70m to fill critical vacancies,” said the report detailing some of the interventions.

The vacancy rate is based on the organogram the municipality drafted in 2013. The organogram shows there should be 6 200 positions in the municipality, but a little over 3 173 are filled, and 3 030 are vacant.

The issue of the vacancies had been raised by councillors, who appealed for it to be addressed urgently. They complained that in light of the high unemployment rate in the city, it was troubling that the municipality was failing to employ suitably qualified individuals.

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The breakdown shows that at management and senior management level, at the time the report was compiled, the situation had improved, and all the positions were filled.

However, the city was without a municipal manager after the resignation of Madoda Khathide.

Other units with vacancies include the asset and liability management unit, which has a 61.8% vacancy. In the political support unit, there was a 83% vacancy.

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In critical units like the planning and environmental management unit, there was a 50.6% vacancy rate, and in the electricity unit, a 70.1% vacancy rate, said the report.

The report said that in the meantime, a number of interventions have been put in place to manage the staff shortages, including deploying experts to assist the municipality.

ACDP councillor Rienus Niemand said the city had no hope of filling vacancies.

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“Filling vacancies is not possible when you do not have money. Starting with the organogram, seeing that it was last done in 2013, it needs to be revised given the dramatic changes in local government.”

DA councillor Ross Strachan said: “We need qualified engineers for the city to resolve the infrastructure issues and improve service delivery.

“You can’t have not even 30% of the required staff complement and expect to have good services, especially priority posts.”