The mayor of Joburg, Mpho Phalatse, reversed a policy introduced by the previous ANC (African National Congress) government that aimed to “turn fixed-term employees in political office into permanent employees”.
Phalatse said there is “no room for unethical and corrupt practices” when it comes to building a well-run city.
ANC’s R59 million wage bill
This practice allows office holders to hire a cohort of personnel dedicated to achieving service goals consistent with the election mandate.
Phalatse said the intention to permanently employ their own agencies in these terms of office was “nothing more than an application of executive deployment, a despicable practice that has been prominent as a tool of State Capture”.
Phalatse called the policy a “short-sighted ploy” on the part of the previous ANC government and said it would have had “long-term effects on the people of Johannesburg”.
Focus on service
At a cost of R59 million a year, it would have “deprived residents of services”.
When Phalatse was appointed executive mayor in December 2021, she said the service should be “easily accessible.”
“As a result, we need to reduce waiting times and expand public services to areas of the city that are poorly served,” Phalatse said at the time.
Moreover, the employment policy of the previous ANC board would ensure that the new multi-party government would not appoint its own pool staff.
ANC wanted to ‘rule from the grave’
“It is not surprising that a political strategy and program driven by officials who do not share the same values as the multi-party government will have far-reaching implications for good governance and service delivery.”
In her opinion, the ANC deliberately “wanted to increase its political footprint in the municipality and rule from the grave through these officials”.
“As a multi-party government, we refuse to go down this road.”
“The National Treasury has issued an ordinance, which will come into effect in mid-2022, outlining the intent and purpose behind the hiring of political personnel; stating that they must be given a fixed-term contract, with a 30-day departure clause in the event of a change in political governance.”