James Masango MPL
Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition.
In the most damning admission to date, Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza yesterday cast the failures of his own ANC government wide open, when he claimed that skilled professionals are hesitant to work for Mpumalanga municipal governments, as amongst others ‘they struggle to find decent schools’ and many were not prepared to live, work in Mpumalanga’s rural areas.
The premier’s embarrassing remark came during a questions for oral reply session at the Mpumalanga Legislature’s sitting in Hluvukani, Busshbuckridge, when he was quizzed over the Auditor-General’s 2010/11 audit report on municipalities.
In creating his own category of municipalities, Mabuza said the Mpumalanga has several low capacity municipalities, struggling to meet their obligations and unable to attract skilled professionals.
Mabuza is clearly out of touch with reality and the skills market. South Africa has amongst its millions of citizens many skilled and dedicated people who have the guts, determination and strength of character to turn the many dysfunctional municipalities of Mpumalanga into paragons of service delivery.
Furthermore, when one considers the attractive remuneration packages paid to senior managers in local governments, and that towns such as Witbank, Belfast and Lydenburg were included in the list of low capacity municipalities, there must be dozens of skilled professionals willing to work in these and other Mpumalanga towns.
In fact several current and former DA councillors in Mpumalanga were senior municipal officials in their municipalities, but were systematically driven out of municipalities by continued instability within the ANC, and its comrade deployment policy.
While Mabuza’s comments about the lack of ‘decent schools’ may be accurate, he would do well to realise that this shortage is primarily a making of his own cabinet, and can be addressed by his own cabinet.
Where we govern, the DA has and continues to use extensive recruiting and vetting processes to ensure that we employ only the most suitably qualified personnel – a practice Mpumalanga municipalities should keenly consider.