MEC must investigate councillor’s ‘jobs lotto’

James Masango MPL

Spokesperson for cooperative governance

Cooperative governance MEC Madala Masuku must investigate the circumstances surrounding a ward councillor in the Thembisile Hani local municipality’s unlawful and unprocedural “jobs lucky draw” for a road construction project.

This past weekend 15 people landed temporary jobs after entering their names into a lucky draw during a public meeting hosted by the ANC’s Ward 6 councillor, Vusi Jiyane. The winners would work as temporary labourers on the construction of the main street in Phola Park.

The DA absolutely condemns this method of recruitment and employment, as Cllr Jiyane’s irregular practice assumes that government jobs, funded by the taxpayer, are ANC jobs to distribute – extending political patronage to ANC supporters.

Councillors are part of the political leadership of a council, and have no function or responsibility in municipalities’ administration, such as recruitment. In fact, councillors are prohibited by law from interfering in the administration, and events this past weekend further conflate the roles of party and state.

A number of questions arise around the incident, as legislation demands that vacancies in municipalities must be advertised, every suitably qualified person accorded equal opportunity to apply, applicants be interviewed, and that the entire process be transparent.

However, Cllr Jiyane’s lucky draw implies that in this case, the only selection criteria was to be an ANC supporter and to attend one of its meetings.

To this end, the DA will send an urgent letter to MEC Masuku asking for an investigation into the matter, and to pay specific attention to the following:

• Who authorised Cllr Jiyane to distribute the jobs;

• Why were the jobs not advertised;

• Is this an isolated incident, or are other councillors similarly “empowered” to distribute government jobs?

• Why was Cllr Jiyane permitted to interfere in the administrative affairs of the municipality?

The DA will continue to monitor government and the ANC and the tendency to blur the lines between party and state, and will not sit by and watch our democracy being eroded.

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