Unions bring Makhado municipality to a standstill over “political interference”
Unions claim that Limpopo politicians are interfering in the recruitment of the chief financial officer
- Makhado municipal workers who are members of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) and Independent Municipal Allied Trade Union (IMATU) protested on Tuesday.
- The unions and workers are calling for transparency with the appointment process for a new chief financial officer (CFO).
- They accuse the ANC of political interference.
- The current acting CFO was appointed in September 2022. The unions believe that the municipality has delayed making the acting CFO permanent because politicians want their preferred candidate to be appointed.
Hundreds of Makhado municipal workers brought the municipality’s offices to a standstill on Tuesday, demanding that the appointment process for a new chief financial officer (CFO) be fair, transparent and without political interference.
Most of the workers are members of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) and Independent Municipal Allied Trade Union (IMATU).
Workers gathered from 7am but left to have breakfast. When they returned after 9am, several residents complained that they had been turned away as municipal services were suspended due to the protest.
According to the unions, the municipality’s CFO position has been vacant for almost five years. They said interviews were held in March this year, and one candidate was appointed as acting CFO.
The unions say the current acting CFO, Godfrey Raliphada, scored highest during the recruitment process, but a final decision is being delayed by politicians who favour the candidate who came second according to interview score sheets.
“The candidate who scored highest is the one who has been acting. As unions we were part of the recruitment process. We are here to find out from the local municipality’s political management team what is delaying appointing the CFO?” said Raymond Raduvha, Makhado secretary of SAMWU.
“The interview results are readily available. We demand the appointment of the permanent position of the CFO within 14 days,” said Raduvha.
Emmanuel Mpho Mulaudzi Khorommbi, IMATU chairperson, said workers were questioning the political interference with the appointment of the CFO. “This is unlawful. Results of the March interviews should be respected.”
Among the politicians union leaders say is interfering with the CFO appointment is MEC for Transport and Community Safety Florence Radzilani, who also serves as the deputy chairperson of ANC in the province and secretary of the Vhembe region.
Union spokespersons said that on Friday last week Radzilani, in her capacity as deputy chairperson in Limpopo, met with the Vhembe regional secretary of the ANC. The regional secretary then visited Makhado municipality and addressed the ANC councillors, claiming that the results of the March interviews had been manipulated.
But the Radzilani’s media liaison officer, Vongani Chauke, denied the claims. “MEC Radzilani is not part of Makhado municipality and doesn’t participate in the council meetings,” said Chauke.
Mayor Samuel Munyai came out to address the protesters and then left for a meeting. Municipal spokesperson Louis Bobodi said the mayor would respond to the unions within two weeks.
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