No Kan do, says MEC of municipal appointments
The 'flawed' recruitment of top officials heaps yet more controversy onto Kannaland
It is known for its “world-famous” cheese and wine on the popular Route 62, but in recent months there has been another kind of stink coming from Kannaland.
For years the municipality in the Western Cape has been beset with controversy – from its mayor who landed in hot water for using funds for his disco equipment, to almost being left in the dark over an unpaid Eskom bill of millions of rands.
Now the municipality, which is led by an ANC and DA coalition, has been accused of the failing to meet certain criteria when appointing Reynold Stevens as its municipal manager and Bennie Strydom as chief financial officer last year.On February 8, local government MEC Anton Bredell wrote to the municipality after he had sought legal opinion about the appointments. He said the recruitment and selection processes were “flawed in many respects”.Among other things, Bredell was concerned that the qualifications of one of the men were not verified, as per the regulations.
“In light of the above, it is evident that the municipality did not comply with the prerequisites of the regulations in relation to the recruitment and selection process,” Bredell wrote.“It would therefore be advisable for the municipality to reach an amicable agreement with the incumbents to terminate their respective contracts of employment. In the absence of the latter I will have no alternative but to approach the court to declare the appointments of the municipal manager and CFO invalid and therefore null and void.”However, Ian Avontuur, spokesperson for mayor Magdalena Barry, said on Tuesday that while the municipality is considering the findings, she has been “very happy” with the work of the municipal manager and the CFO.
“We are obviously disappointed at the turn of events, but we will look to the MEC’s office for guidance and advice in resolving the matter. We have to ensure ongoing good governance and service delivery until a new recruitment process can commence and be concluded,” said Avontuur.
They also committed to ensure that proper processes are followed in the future when management is appointed.
Provincial government head of department Graham Paulse confirmed to Times Select that the appointments were non-complaint with legal and regulatory prescripts. The matter would go before council on February 28.