Tshwane wants new senior manager at cost of R3 million

Mayor of Tshwane, Cilliers Brink. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Mayor of Tshwane, Cilliers Brink. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Published Jul 2, 2024


The City of Tshwane’s executive management has come under fire for wanting to create a new Section 56 position at a cost of R3 million whilst pleading poverty in response to wage increase demands by municipal workers last year.

The move by the executive to create a new senior manager’s position was approved by council last week as part of the proposed City macro organisational structure.

The approval was pushed through by the multiparty coalition government under the DA in the face of stinging criticisms from opposition parties which felt that added to an already bloated top structure in the metro.

Council approved the creation of the new City management and strategic support cluster to be headed by the management and support officer charged with the responsibility for the legislative and compliance functions supporting the city manager Johann Mettler.

ANC chief whip Aaron Maluleka accused Mettler of wanting to hire a third deputy city manager, saying “the governance and support officer and chief operations officer COO are (essentially) deputy city managers”.

He also accused the DA of being hypocritical after having criticised the former ANC administration for the same thing when it had three deputy city managers in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

“The DA was shouting and today they are hypocrites and they choose to come here to put up a vanity position that is meaningless to our people,” Maluleka said.

He said a senior manager only added to a bloated management structure that was “not helping people”.

Questioning Mettler’s priority in terms of filling positions, Maluleka said: “In regions 5 and region 2 we do not have deputy directors and functional heads. We are struggling with providing services and ensuring that we have artisans and plumbers, but you took a comfortable position to think that you need a third deputy manager at an amount of R3 million when we are struggling to patch roads and fix electricity on time.”

The Republican Conference of Tshwane councillor, Lex Middelberg, said: “You do not fix a problem caused by a bloated inefficient management and overspending on management salaries while mindlessly throwing more money and more staff at it.”

He said the City was struggling with liquidity and that the answer was “not to spend more money but to spend less more effectively”.

GOOD councillor, Sara Mabotja, said: “The City will spend R13.4 billion and that is 27.8% of a total R48.3 bn on operating expenditure and the staff complement is more than 19 000. GOOD is of the view that the current structure is bloated notwithstanding the fact that the creation of a deputy speaker’s office which was approved last year and the cost associated with that office is going to millions of rands to the city.”

She said the approval of the appointment would not be fair to employees who had been fighting for an increase, and the residents of Tshwane who were struggling to make ends meet.

“This proposal is only going to exacerbate the problem as the City is currently facing a dire financial constraint,”Mabotja said.

A council report regarding the new macro-organisational structure noted that the cost implications were only on the proposed new cluster position.

The report said: “It is indicated in the report that the total remuneration package should be added with a cell phone allowance amount of R21 600 per annum. The cost to fund for the new position, therefore, is a minimum package of R 2 076 605 and a maximum package of R3 169 138 per annum.”

The report was, however, silent on the concomitant costs associated with back office staff and tools of trade, that may emanate as a result of the creation of the management and support officer.

Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink, said: “The problem that this suggested change to the macro structure seeks to solve is not just whether the City is over-bloated; it is whether we are getting productivity and effective control out of the workforce.”

He said the council report referred to the cluster system enabling transversal management between different departments.

“In other words management that intersects the little silos that often exist in an organisation. It would be a big mistake to personalise this suggested change to the macrostructure with reference to who the City manager is. The purpose is not to either undermine the City manager or to strengthen his hand,” he said.

Pretoria News

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