Municipal officials’ competency levels – Does Mpumalanga comply with Treasury regulations?

James Masango MPL

Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition

Mpumalanga cooperative governance MEC Madala Masuku must divulge whether all municipal managers, municipal chief financial officers (CFOs) and finance officials comply to the minimum competency levels as set down by the National Treasury’s Municipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels.

The regulations were promulgated in 2007 in accordance with sections 83, 107 and 119 of the Municipal Finance Management Act – and had to be implemented by 1 January 2012. (click here to view the Act). According to a memo circulated by Treasury in April last year, municipalities were warned that should affected staff not comply to the following competency levels, they would be removed:

• Municipal managers should have, or attain by January 2013: either NQF level 6, equivalent to a three-year degree and a higher diploma, or a certificate in municipal financial management along with 5 years’ experience;

• CFOs in high capacity municipalities must hold NQF level 7, equivalent to an honours degree, a postgraduate certificate or diploma, or registration as a chartered accountant. They must also have a minimum of seven years’ experience at senior and middle management level;

• In low-capacity municipalities CFOs must hold the same qualifications as with high-capacity municipalities, but the experience level is lessened to a minimum of five years.

The regulations and their promulgation are available on National Treasury’s website, and can be viewed by clicking here.

Poor service delivery in Mpumalanga is a direct result of the ANC-led government’s insistence on appointing officials as a reward for political loyalty and not according to their skills base. This has led to poor planning and ill-advised and reckless spending of public funds, harming service delivery. This is in stark contrast with the 29 DA-led municipalities across South Africa, who put service delivery over political affiliation, bringing much-needed relief to the poor.

The DA will submit formal written parliamentary questions requesting MEC Masuku to clarify the following:

• Are all municipalities compliant to Treasury’s regulations;

• To provide a breakdown of all permanent and acting MMs and CFOs;

• To provide a breakdown of all permanent and acting MMs and CFOs’ qualifications and competency levels;

• Have any special extensions to comply been requested from Treasury, and how many have been granted;

• When will the MEC and municipality take action and start dismissal procedures of all non-compliant officials.

Running a municipality (like any specialised job) requires a particular skill and disposition, and the DA believes that Treasury’s regulations is a definite move to bringing more effective services to the people of Mpumalanga. The question is whether the provincial ANC has the stomach to implement it.

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