NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NUMBER 121
PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NUMBER 07 OF 11 March 2011
Mr O de Beer (COPE-WC) to ask the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs:
(1) Whether his department has closely monitored the number of senior officials that were suspended for any reasons as part of the turnaround strategy; if not, why not, if so, what are the relevant details;
(2) whether any disciplinary charges have been laid against such officials; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(3) whether the disciplinary hearings were conducted in a timely and decisive manner; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(4) what is the situation in (a) Saldanha and (b) other municipalities regarding the suspension of senior officials? CWI61E
The department has closely monitored the number of Senior Officials that were suspended as part of the turnaround strategy. For the purpose of this reply, Senior Officials are interpreted as Municipal Managers and Managers directly accountable to Municipal Managers. As part of my Department's monitoring and support function, I am aware of all Municipal Managers, technical Managers and Chief Financial Officers that have been suspended in various provinces. The following is the status in received from various provinces:
1. Gauteng Province
1.1. In the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan senior officials were suspended due to the following transgressions: Failure to disclose personal interest, Fraud, corruption, Sexual Harassment, Incompatibility and Poor work performance.
1.2. In the City of Tshwane, disciplinary charges have been laid against the officials for contravening provisions of the supply chain management policy of the municipality. Disciplinary hearings have not been conduced yet, but the City is in the process of arranging dates for the hearings which is immediately after the completion of investigation.
1.3. In Kungwini Local Municipality seven (7) cases of Fraud confirmed. Three (3) had been dealt with internally where 2 had been cleared and I received a final written warning. The outstanding cases have been presented to the police.
1.4. In West Rand District Municipality two senior officials were suspended pending an investigation that was done to determine if enough grounds exist to start with a formal disciplinary process. Disciplinary charges have been laid against two senior officials. The details are as follows:
a) The late Executive Manager: Public Safety & Regional Support, was charged for misconduct by allegedly breaching the Code of Conduct for municipal employees as well as contravening the Disciplinary Code & Procedure by failing to perform his tasks and responsibilities diligently, carefully and to the best of his ability, and by failing to refrain from willful or negligent behavior:
b) The Manager: Community Safety was charged for misconduct for allegedly failing to act with honesty and integrity, and this action brought the name of the Municipality into disrepute. The disciplinary hearings were not conducted in a timely manner but in a decisively manner in that in that both cases were chaired by the same Presiding Officer who was also committed in other cases in the High Court. In the matter of the Executive manager: Public safety & Regional Support, unfortunately the accused employee passed away before his case was finalized.
c) In the West Rand District Municipality they always strive to comply with the SALGBC Collective Agreement: Disciplinary Code and Procedure in terms of suspension not only of senior officials but with all the employees that are covered by the Bargaining Council. Notices of an intention to suspend before suspensions are instituted to allow employees to make submissions in respect of such suspensions. The WRDM considers such submissions carefully against any potential threats that the presence of an employee in a workplace is likely pose during internal investigations.
1.5. In Lesedi Municipality, One Senior Official has been suspended; the case was expected to be finalized by March 2011.
2. In Limpopo there have been no suspensions of any Senior Officials, however disciplinary charges were laid against five (5) Senior Officials in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in the financial year 201 0/11. Three officials were charged with fraud and the other two officials charged with gross negligence. Disciplinary hearings against the officials were conducted timeousely and decisively in accordance with chapter 7 of the Senior Management Service Handbook.
2.1 In Mookgophong Municipality the Municipal Manager and the Chief Financial Officer were suspended due to maladministration and non performance.
2.2 In the Capricorn District, a Municipal Manager was suspended due to maladministration and non performance.
2.3 In the Sekhukhune District, the Municipal Manager was suspended due to continuous audit disclaimers reports and the unavailability of audit action plan to deal with the issues which the Auditor-General was raising.
2.4 In the Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality, the Chief Financial Officer and the Municipal Manager were dismissed.
2.5 In the Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality, the Director Engineering was suspended due to incompetence and refusal to sign employment and performance contracts and the disciplinary action is in progress.
2.6 In the Ba Phalaborwa Local Municipality the Chief Financial Officer was suspended due to insubordination to Council and the disciplinary action is in progress.
3 In Mpumalanga the following is the status: five Senior Section 57 Managers were suspended in three municipalities:
3.1 In Nkomazi Local Municipality, the Chief Financial Officer was suspended due to failure or negligence to act in the interest of the Municipality to avoid unnecessary and fruitless expenditure and with financial mismanagement. The Municipality has formulated 10 charges against the Chief Financial Officer amongst others are the fruitless expenditure and financial mismanagement. The municipality has taken time investigating the official and disciplinary hearing has taken place within three months after suspension and the first date was the 4th March 2011, the hearing has been postponed on request made by the legal representative of the Chief Financial Officer and the new date will be set for the hearing.
3.2 In the Lekwa Local Municipality, the Chief Financial Officer of the Municipality has received a notice of precautionary suspension on the 14th February 2010 on allegation of falsification of results or recommendation of an interviewing panel with regards to scores of candidates, alteration or removal of names of preferred candidates and substitutes those with others, unauthorized and wasteful expenditure, approval of improper or fraudulent invoices of a Service Provider, unlawful instructions to subordinates and bringing the name of the Municipality into disrepute. Disciplinary charges have been laid against the Chief Financial Officer in terms of the unlawful conduct as indicated above.
The hearing has not taken place and there is no date set for the hearing, It was expected that the matter be will be finalized before the end of March 2011.
3.3 While at the Dr. J.S. Moroka Local Municipality, the Municipal Manager was firstly suspended on the 29 July 2010 and the suspension was later uplifted after the contestation of the procedure followed in her suspension. The Municipal Manager was again suspended on the December 2010 with similar charges. There has been a precautionary suspension against the Chief Financial Officer and Manager Technical and Facilities on the 28th February 2011. Disciplinary charges have been laid against the Municipal Manager, Chief Financial Officer and the Manager Technical and Facilities. The disciplinary hearing has not taken place due to urgent interdict that was launched by the Municipal Manager at the Labour Court on her suspension. The disciplinary hearing of the Chief Financial Officer and the Manager Technical and Facilities have not taken place since the investigations have not been finalized. The suspension rate is very low in the Mpumalanga local municipalities.
4 In the Northern Cape, the Department has been monitoring municipalities through the Rapid Response Team Quarterly visits.
4.1 Kamiesberg Local Municipality
The Chief Financial Officer was suspended and is currently reporting for duty.
4.2 Dikgatlong Local Municipality
The Municipal Manager was suspended on 07 April 2010. On the 0jSt February 2011 Council offered a lump sum to relieve him off his duties. The Technical Services Manager was suspended on 07 April 2010. On the 01 February 2011 Council offered him a lump sum to relieve him off his duties. However, this decision was made through the recommendation made by CCMA. Chief Financial Officer's contract ended in 2009 and was not renewed. The matter was referred to CCMA. CCMA provided that the post was not Section 57 rather Section 56. Council agreed with finding and reinstated the CFO. Yes, as a result of the above mentioned, no disciplinary actions were taken against the Municipal Manager and Technical Services Manager of Dikgatlong Local Municipality. The department seconded two officials for the post of Municipal Manager and Technical Services Manager to Dikgatlong Local Municipality.
5 Western Cape
5.1 In the Saldanha Bay Municipality the Director Technical Services was suspended. The disciplinary charges have been laid against the official. The official has been suspended on full pay. The disciplinary hearing has been ongoing since 2009.
5.2 In the Overberg District Municipality, the Director Corporate Services and Municipal Manager were suspended on full pay. Disciplinary charges have been laid against the Director Corporate Services and the disciplinary hearing has been going on since January 2010. Municipal Manager was suspended. There is no disciplinary charge laid against the Municipal Manager. The disciplinary processes still have to commence.
5.3 In the Swellendam Municipality the Municipal Manager was suspended on full pay. Disciplinary charges have been laid against the Municipal Manager, however the disciplinary hearing was due to commence on the 15 March 2011.
5.4 In the Kannaland Municipality, the Municipal Manager and the Chief Financial Officer were suspended on full pay. The Disciplinary charges were laid against the officials. The Disciplinary hearing to both of them was due to commence on 23 March 2011.
5.5 At George Municipality, the Municipal Manager, the Chief Financial Officer and the Director Community Safety were suspended on full pay. The disciplinary charges were laid against officials. The Process regarding the Municipal Manager started in March 2011 and its in progress, all evidence has been concluded against the Chief Financial Officer and waiting for an outcome, meanwhile the disciplinary process of the Director Community Safety still have to commence.
5.6 In the Oudtshoorn Municipality, the Director Corporate Services was suspended, disciplinary charges were laid against the official, the disciplinary hearing is expected to commence on 14 April 2011.
5.7 In the Prince Albert Municipality the Chief Financial Officer was suspended with full pay, the disciplinary charges were laid against the official, the disciplinary hearing is expected to commence on 18 April 2011.
6 Free State
6.1 Nala Local Municipality - The Council failed to execute its mandate. The Municipality is under administration in terms of Section 139. The Municipal Manager works under the supervision of the Administrator. A Forensic Investigation Report has been completed and is due for tabling to Council meeting.
6.2 Mohokare Local Municipality - There is an Acting Municipality Manager (MM) at the moment. The MM is being suspected of financial mismanagement and maladministration and he is on special leave pending outcome of Forensic Investigation- Forensic investigation expected to be completed by March 2011.
6.3 Lejweleputswa District Municipality - the Chief Financial Officer was suspended because of poor performance- Disciplinary case refers to non achievement of performance targets - target for completion 30 April 2011.
6.4 Matjhabeng Local Municipality - Section 106 and Commissions Ordinance First draft finalised, Final report in March 2011. Allegations of major maladministration, fraud, bribery, theft and corruption activities have been investigated. The investigation took two months to be completed. The MEC will consider this report.
6.5 Masilonyana Local Municipahty - The Manager Infrastructure is linked to corrupt activities regarding bucket eradication projects. There is no suspension as yet. Forensic Investigation was limited to Bucket Eradication Projects- First draft finalised, Final report is expected in March 2011
6.6 Naledi Local Municipality- Forensic- Awaited status from the office of the Premier who arranged this investigation. There is no suspension as yet.
6.7 Xhariep District Municipality- Internal Auditor dismissed, appeal pending and the matter is under investigation by Public Protector
7 North West
Since the advent of Ministerial Turnaround Strategy, the Department did elevate the Labour Relations to a KPA, through these efforts, the status of disciplinary cases in general has been assessed and interventions put in place. Twenty-two (22) disciplinary charges were laid on the alleged fraud and corruption, misconduct.
(i) Disciplinary hearings were conducted timely and in some instances not, due to insufficient (capacity) insufficient presiding officers and prosecutors at municipalities to deal with those cases.
(ii) Disciplinary cases were dealt with decisively as follows; investigations were conducted, charges were preferred, hearings conducted, verdicts issued and implemented as follows; Ten senior managers have been suspended and charges laid against them of which two have been dismissed i.e. two Municipal Managers and one case is before the criminal court.
One hundred and nineteen (119) prosecutors and presiding officers were trained and over and above that 17 experienced practitioners were also trained as coaches and mentors in February 2011 in order to increase and sustain the capacity at municipal level to deal with the disciplinary case workload. In addition, SALGA facilitated the establishment of four district forums of the said practitioners for purposes of networking, shared services and best practice.
In accordance with the provisions of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 SALGA has entered into a Disciplinary Procedure and Code Collective Agreement with the municipal trade unions which shall come into operations in respect of the parties to the agreement on the l July 2010.
The purpose of the disciplinary code is to establish a fair, common and uniform procedure for the management of the employee discipline.
Issued by Parliament, June 6 2011 (transcribed from PDF. Please check against original).
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