The Frances Baard District Municipality is unable to fill critical vacancies as skilled and qualified candidates are not accepting the remuneration packages offered.
THE FRANCES Baard District Municipality is unable to fill critical vacancies as skilled and qualified candidates are not accepting the remuneration packages offered.
During a presentation to the portfolio committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the municipality indicated that it had approached the minister for a waiver on salaries.
“Only the position of municipal manager and the director of administration/corporate services are filled. We have historical vacancies of directors, finance (chief financial officer), infrastructure services and planning and development.”
It was indicated that skilled and qualified persons did not apply for senior management posts or declined the offer after appointment.
“The remuneration of senior managers is a contributing factor. Few attempts to recruit proved to be futile and our middle managers, who are permanent in their positions, earn salaries that are more or less the same as the senior managers.”
The municipality stated that the response from the Minister regarding the waiver on salaries, was ultimately declined due to the high wage bill.
It said that the district was working with sector departments who were members of the district joint operation committee to create awareness about the protocols and safety measures of Covid-19.
“Our environmental health programmes have been working around the clock to monitor Covid-19-related funerals, training funeral parlours and collaborating with private and public hospitals to manage the pandemic.”
The municipality added that while it was responsible for performing disaster management functions, it still did not have a disaster management centre due to lack of funding.
“We have a 24 hour operational centre that we utilise to receive and disseminate information on disaster related matters for prompt response.
“Council has declared our district a disaster area due to the recent floods in our area.”
It indicated that the Auditor-General had found the municipality to be financially viable, where it was in a position to pay its current liabilities with the cash available at year end and was able to meet its short to medium term commitments.
The municipality has spent R246 000 on its disaster grant for the 2019/’20 financial year.
It said that R8 million was allocated for capital projects in the 2019/’20 financial year while R2, 5 million was budgeted for operation and maintenance at each district local municipality.
Capital projects include co-funding for the construction of roads and stormwater in Stilwater, Dikgatlong, construction of a vacuum sewer in Magareng, the Magareng landfill site, co-funding for the Ganspan wastewater treatment works and bulk sewer infrastructure in Phokwane.
Funding was also allocated for the Sol Plaatje servicing of erven in Southridge, Homestead, Moghul Park and Phomolong.
The municipality said that the R1, 2 million incentive grant from the expanded public work programme was used to fund the Frances Baard District Municipality maintenance of streets and stormwater in Warrenton to the value of R300 000, the R350 000 that went towards the operation and maintenance of the water wastewater treatment works in Dikgatlong and R620 000 that went towards the youth entrepreneurship development programme.
It added that the functions of human settlements had been taken over by the project management unit of the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs whereby the municipality is only able to give technical and administrative support but cannot construct houses.
It stated that despite limited resources, the municipality was providing funding and business support to small, medium and micro enterprises to enable them to run their businesses successfully.
“We have feasibility studies of some tourism and related projects which require investment as they have the potential to stimulate and grow the economy of our district. Ganspan pan is a potential leisure resort which has more than 95 bird species and a dam around it.”