Mayor denies mass exodus of staff

ETHEKWINI Mayor, Zandile Gumede denied the city was suffering from an exodus of key staff and said she wanted to reassure the public that service delivery had not been impacted. Gumede was addressing councillors at a special meeting of Exco held this week.

She called on City Manager Sipho Nzuzu to address the so called exodus of staff issue. Gumede said it was important to deal with low staff moral by ensuring staff were motivated and paid properly if they did their job. She said those who failed to comply with legislation had to be dealt with according to the applicable labour laws with no political interference.

READ RELATED: Exodus of key city staff threatens stability, says DA

“The Auditor General was clear that eThekwini must have a clear consequence management plan. It is unfortunate and opportunistic for people to go to the media and speak about purging when we implement laws. The ANC gave us the mandate to take harsh steps against corruption because people were saying we are too soft. We will not hide or protect people who are not doing their jobs. We will not allow anyone to sabotage us and use his or her position in the municipality to sabotage the City,” she said.

She went on to encourage Nzuza to start the process of filling all vacancies.

Nzuza provided clarity on recent resignations, suspensions and early retirement issues of senior staff in the City, and provided a list of employees who have left the City.

This included Dr Musa Gumede, the Deputy City Manager of Health, Safety and Security who will be taking up a position in the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department. Nzuza said Dr Gumede was leaving of his own accord.

The Head of Legal and Compliance Unit, Nokhana Moerane, who resigned from the City without indicating her reason for doing so in April. Ntokozo Zungu, a Manager in the City Manager’s Office, has also resigned due to personal reasons said Nzuza.

Nzuza said while there were allegations that Chief Audit Executive Phillip Ntsimane had left the City and would be taking up a position in Tshwane from 1 August, he had not received a resignation letter from Ntsimane. The same can be said for Sugen Moodley, a Senior Manager at the Municipal Learning Institute.

While he would be pursuing a position in academia, Nzuza said he had not received a resignation letter from Moodley. Nzuza said the Head of the Metro Police Eugene Nzama had indicated he would take early retirement but declined to provide further information due to the employee-employer privilege.

READ RELATED: Mayor to address exodus of key city staff

Nzuza also addressed recent suspensions in the City, including Head of the Health Unit Dr Nomakhosi Gxagxisa, Head of the City’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Unit Thembinkosi Ngcobo and Nhlanhla Mthethwa, a Project Executive at Metro Police, all of whom are facing charges of misconduct.

Nzuza said there had only been one dismissal, that of former Head of Electricity Sandile Maphumulo, following a properly constituted disciplinary hearing where he faced serious charges of misconduct. The sanction imposed by the chairperson was the ultimate sanction of dismissal. “Mr Maphumalo had representation throughout the hearing and at its conclusion was advised of his right to appeal the outcome of the hearing and the sanction which I believe he has opted to do,” Nzuza said.

“We are shining as the City and will continue to do so. I am here to work and not play. We will continue to work for our people and lead them,” said Gumede, adding once again that the city was not collapsing.

She said only two people have left the Municipality with one person dismissed.

“There is no exodus of staff in the City and there are no issues in the City. We are working,” she said.

Wanda Daly

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