The Tswaing Local Municipality in North West is currently under administration and it is therefore unlawful for it to make decisions on the recruitment of staff.

However, on September 25, the bankrupt municipality advertised vacancies for 127 positions despite a moratorium on the filling of vacancies, Carin Visser MP, the DA constituency head in the municipality, said in a statement on Wednesday.

These new positions could cripple the already cash-strapped municipality, with its inflated staff structure costing about R17.2 million per annum.

Visser said More than 80% of its equitable share goes towards employee salaries rather than applying the funds towards the improvement of service delivery. The recruitment drive was done without the approval of the local labour forum and the administrator. The moratorium was imposed by the former MEC for Cooperative Governance, Fenny Gaolaolwe, in 2018″.

“Only senior management positions are not affected by the mortarium and yet the municipality proceeded to recruit general workers, electricians and a Human Resources manager.

“Tswaing is currently under administration in terms of Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution, following a report on allegations of maladministration, systematic failures of the council to carry out its executive and other legislative mandates. It is therefore unlawful for the municipality to make decisions on the recruitment of staff.

Tswaing has operated on two separate organograms since 2009. This has created an administrative nightmare in terms of the execution of duties and the reporting lines of staff members.

The municipality adopted an unfunded budget and constantly fails to honour its payment to creditors and to meet its statutory obligations such as the payment of employee pension schemes, PAYE and medical aid contributions.

“The municipality is already struggling to pay salaries to its current employees. It is uncertain how additional funds for the salaries of 127 additional employees will be paid. The intake of new staff will negatively affect service delivery as 100% of the equitable share will now be paid towards salaries.

The DA has reported this unlawful conduct by Tswaing Municipality leadership to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Select Committee for not adhering to sound financial discipline as prescribed by the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA).

Visser added that ’’Further to this, the DA will write a letter to the Acting MEC for Cooperative Governance, Boitumelo Moiloa, requesting her to halt the recruitment process”.

“”Should the MEC fail to do so, the DA will escalate the matter to the National Minister for COGTA, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, for her intervention, failing which we will seek legal advice with the view of interdicting this irregular process.’’