South Africa: Spat Over Top Appointment in Makhado Municipality

Unions accuse council of trying to appoint person who came second in interview process to CFO position

Over a hundred Makhado municipality workers protested outside the mayor’s office on Monday, demanding answers over the appointment of the chief financial officer (CFO).

The protesters gathered under the banners of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) and Independent Municipal Allied Trade Union (IMATU).

Earlier this month, workers brought the municipality’s offices to a standstill, saying that the appointment process for a new CFO must be fair, transparent and without political interference.

The current acting CFO, Godfrey Raliphada, was appointed in September 2022.

According to the unions, the municipality’s CFO position has been vacant for almost five years. They said interviews were held in March this year.

The unions believe that the municipality has delayed making the acting CFO permanent because politicians want their preferred candidate, who came second in the interview score sheets, to be appointed.

On Monday, members of SAMWU and IMATU unions vowed to continue gathering at the Makhado offices until the municipality addresses them on the CFO appointment.

Raymond Raduvha of SAMWU told GroundUp that workers had waited a couple of hours for the mayor to address them, but he didn’t come out. “Today we would like the municipality to address us. There are rumours that the one who came second in the CFO interview has now been appointed as the CFO. So we need to know from the mayor what is going on,” said Raduvha.

Responding to GroundUp’s questions, Louis Bobodi, spokesperson for Makhado Municipality spokesperson said the City was waiting on the pronouncement from Council on this issue. “The council has not yet convened. As soon as it convenes, the unions will also get the response.”

Several of the union members were sitting around on chairs while others sang and danced in front of the municipality offices. The municipality offices remained closed. No public services were rendered to residents.

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