Spat over advertised political posts in Tshwane mayor Randall Williams’s office
Pretoria - The contentious political posts in the office of mayor Randall Williams will come under discussion during the upcoming meeting of the regional SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu).
In December, the union vowed to oppose the appointments on the grounds that they came with five-year fixed contracts, which were not aligned with Williams' term of office.
If the DA does not secure the majority of wards in the upcoming local government elections, Williams will leave office.
He has refused to withdraw the adverts, challenging Samwu to take him to court if it believed he was in the wrong.
The posts included mayoral stakeholder management and community liaison officer, the mayor’s spokesperson, head of performance and evaluation, and head of research.
Union regional chairperson Nkhetheni Muthavhi said: "We have not sat as the executive and agreed that we are going to challenge that."
However, his personal view was that the positions were aligned to a political office.
This was a different stance from the one previously expressed by the union regional secretary, Mpho Tladinyane, who threatened to challenge Williams' decision at the local government bargaining council.
"We will lodge a formal dispute at the bargaining council if they won't accede to what we are calling for," he said.
Tladinyane took issue with the length of the contract for the positions which could go beyond the term in office of the mayor and council.
He said Williams risked having the five-year contract appointments reversed should he not be re-elected after the 2021 municipal polls.
But, according to Muthavhi, the appointments would be terminated should Williams not be re-elected as the mayor.
"If, for example, there is a change of guard when we go to local government, those appointed will go out.
“I know the argument that they would be appointed for a five year period, but I also know that within three months, if the DA does not win they will also vacate office," he said
Williams previously said there was nothing amiss with the advertised posts and it was a normal recruitment process.
"We are following policies and it is also the union's responsibility to see that policy being implemented because if what we are doing is unlawful then unions need to go to court and stop us," he said.