The interview process for vacant positions in the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM) has begun according to South African Municipal Workers’ Union Free State chairperson, Congo Matsephe. This comes after it was reported by the Auditor-General that almost 50% of the positions in the metro are yet to be filled.
Bloemfontein Courant reported that there was a 47% vacancy rate in the metro. This means that only 3771 positions out of 7130 are occupied. Matsephe stated that many positions had only been occupied by acting employees, which means that they are crucial to the functioning of the municipality. “The challenge is that there are people in a number of acting positions and so there was an agreement with the municipality that they have to advertise some of the positions that are critical,” explained Matsephe.
Among some of the key positions open at the metro are the position of Chief Risk Officer and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), which became vacant in April this year.
According to DA’s Pieter Lotriet, most vacancies are in positions that require experience and crucial skills. He stated that vacancies have been a drawn out issue due to employees leaving the municipality over the years without their positions being replenishing. “The municipality has such a lack of skilled and knowledgeable people because it allowed these people to go on early retirement over the years. We have lost that experience,” said Lotriet.
Matsephe stated that interviews were conducted last week for candidates who may possibly fill some of the vacant positions. He emphasised that SAMWU was concerned about the external advertising of positions rather than within the municipality first. “Positions must be advertised internally first because we have had problems before of posts advertised externally without considering people that already work there. If there are no suitable candidates found internally, then the positions may be advertised,” Matsephe added. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele