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Sanco and EFF members picket outside Polokwane municipal offices in the civic centre on Monday in anticipation of a meeting with Executive Mayor Thembi Nkadimeng.

Crisis at city municipality

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A structure of the South African National Civic Organization (Sanco) in Limpopo is adamant to have allegations of jobs for pals at Polokwane Municipality investigated at the highest level and intends to request President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate top African National Congress (ANC) office bearers and Polokwane municipal councillors and officials as well as trade unions’ involvement in the appointment of 141 general workers in the municipality with effect from 1 January.
According to PEC chairperson of one of the two Sanco structures in Limpopo, Champ Sepuru, a great number of the appointed officials are either relatives or close friends of top ANC Limpopo leaders, Executive Mayor Thembi Nkadimeng and municipal councillors. Sepuru alleges that the prescribed recruitment and appointment processes were not followed and confirmed that a complaint has been filed with the Public Protector on Friday. “We are currently awaiting legal advice regarding possible criminal charges against officials and have also referred the conduct of councillors to the municipality’s Ethics Committee. We have already approached the leadership of the Peter Mokaba Region of the ANC in Limpopo to deal with the allegations against political deployees in the municipality,” Sepuru added.
Spokesperson for Polokwane Municipality, Thipa Selala confirmed that the municipality advertised and filled positions for general workers. “Towards the end of last year, the municipality received a total of 7 020 applications from which 406 were shortlisted and interviewed and 141 candidates were appointed,” Selala said and explained that initially the municipality’s advert called for 83 general workers and that during the process in which organised labour was involved, 58 more positions of general workers became vacant, he added.
“Sanco Limpopo requested information about the recruitment process and the municipality met with the structure on 2 January 2020, where it was agreed that a meeting will be held with the Executive Mayor on Monday at 14:00,” Selala said and added that on Monday around 08:30, a delegation of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) provincial leadership also arrived at the municipality requesting to meet with the municipality to discuss allegations regarding to the appointments. After the meeting, EFF Provincial Leader Jossey Buthane confirmed that it was agreed that the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) would be requested to investigate the allegations and provide a report within 14 days if possible.
According to Selala, the planned meeting with Sanco Limpopo did not take place later on the same day when Sanco Limpopo as well as the other grouping also posing as Sanco Limpopo and known as the Masekoameng group, both joined the proposed meeting. According to Selala, there were people already seated when Nkadimeng entered the mayoral parlour. Realising that there were two groups, Nkadimeng decided to accommodate neither of the groups, according to Selala. “The municipality has no desire to get involved in Sanco’s internal differences in terms of which group belongs to which faction,” Selala concluded.
Selala, however, confirmed that Sanco has been advised of Nkadimeng’s intention to request Makamu to investigate the allegations. At time of going to print, Selala could not confirm when the request will be directed to the MEC.

Story/photo: BARRY VILJOEN
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