SAMWU march on Bhisho highlights dysfunctionality of municipalities

Dacre Haddon MPL

Shadow MEC for Local Government

Some 10 000 members of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) are expected to march on Bhisho today to hand a memorandum to the Premier, Noxolo Kiviet.

The appalling dysfunctionality of many of our municipalities and related service delivery failures as well as the failure of a single municipality to obtain a clean audit does not strengthen the case for salary notch increases for aggrieved municipal employees.

The impoverished and disgruntled citizens of this province, who are suffering severe hardship because of the failure of service delivery, cannot be expected to dig deeper in their pockets to fund the on-going mismanagement of our municipalities.

While there is sympathy towards these employees whose salaries were down-graded, the demands of Samwu are outrageous and unaffordable.

This province cannot continue the practice of having municipalities and departments used as employment agencies for ruling party cadres.  Exorbitant amounts are gobbled up in staff costs leaving little funding for service delivery.

The DA believes that the following must be achieved in order to ensure our municipalities are financially sustainable:

•             Outsource services that will create competition by lowering costs;

•             Privatise services such as garbage collection that create choice for residents and supplies a cheaper, more affordable service;

•             Encourage emerging entrepreneurs and businesses to apply for job creation subsidies;

•             Trim down bloated municipal staff organograms;

•             Ensure that effective performance management is implemented and carried through on a regular basis.

Provincial departments and municipalities need to tighten belts and lead by fiscal example by rewarding effective employee performance, not dysfunctionality.