The multiparty coalition government in the City of Tshwane has received scathing criticism from opposition parties for creating another lucrative political position that would cost the municipality nearly R2 million a year in salaries and perks.
This comes after the coalition bloc recently installed ActionSA councillor Dr Nasiphi Moya in the newly formed position of a deputy mayor amid much criticism from opposition parties that the City can’t afford the appointment.
This time around the coalition partners appointed FF Plus councillor, Sakkie du Plooy, as the full-time chairperson of the oversight committee.
Opposition parties in council frowned upon the move, saying it was a waste of taxpayers’ money and a way of appeasing a coalition ally in the FF Plus with a high-paying position.
ANC chief whip Aaron Maluleka lambasted the coalition government for having “an insatiable appetite for power and positions and perks that come with that”.
“The chair of chairs is a full-time position for a person who is going to earn more than R1 million a year,” he said.
He said Du Plooy would need to hire a researcher and a secretariat whose salaries could jump to at least R700 000 per annum.
“We want to make an extra committee just to appease the FF Plus because we gave ActionSA a position. It has nothing to do with the people and it has nothing to do with the fact that there are extra pairs of hands to assist us with oversight and governance. It is about appeasing the FF Plus,” he said.
Republican Conference of Tshwane’s councillor Lex Middelberg said: “This is a cynical, shameless political greed. Whoever proposed this must be ashamed of themselves. This is an attempt to create more positions of political appointees. We are not paying our staff salary increases. We are creating one position after the other to waste the money of the people on political greed.”
Ward 103 councillor Eunice Moloi hit out at the multiparty coalition for being more concerned about sharing positions and not really about the needs of communities.
“In our zone, in region 6, we have (had) two weeks without water. People are fighting because there is no water, the roads have potholes, street lights are not working and we are scared that our children might be raped. Why are we not having concerns about the communities? You are only concerned about positions,” she said.
In a media statement released by FF Plus councillor Grandi Theunissen, also MMC for community safety, the party celebrated the appointment of Du Plooy as the full-time chairperson of the metro’s government oversight committee.
Theunissen said: “The party believes that Du Plooy will fulfil a key role in maintaining a firm grip on the metro’s reins and helping it go from strength to strength.”
He said there were no extra costs to be incurred by the municipality beyond what has already been budgeted for the 2023/24 financial year.
“One of the considerations with the appointment of the full-time chairperson for the government oversight committee was the auditor-general's 2021/22 annual financial report, which stressed that poor oversight results in mismanagement,” he said.
He said one of Du Plooy’s responsibilities would be to communicate with the public, which often fell short in the past.
“It is critically important to establish an effective and corruption-free government in the metro for the sake of every resident. Du Plooy will also fulfil the role of chairperson in council meetings when the speaker is unavailable,” Theunissen said.