The DA’s warnings to municipal workers about plans to root out corrupt officials at the councils it governs has ruffled feathers in the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu).
Athol Trollip, the newly elected Nelson Mandela Bay mayor, on Thursday mapped out his plans to address corruption, cadre deployment and inefficiency among his staff in his first council address.
Last week, the party’s federal chairperson, James Selfe, told The Citizen that its skills audit plans were not aimed at singling out ANC supporters but at fighting corruption and bad service delivery. But Samwu said in a statement this week that it would be looking to protect its members.
“Our first priority is our members and, as such, we will not allow any administration to victimise workers based on their political posture prior to the elections,” the statement said. “We therefore warn municipalities that should they dare victimise workers on the basis of this, they will feel the full wrath of municipal workers.”
“Rooting out Corruption in Nelson Mandela Bay” was the theme of Trollip’s predecessor, Danny Jordaan. Wasteful expenditure totalling R146 million was uncovered in a report by the Auditor-General for the 2014/15 financial year.
Irregular expenditure during that time amounted to R1.3 billion. After spending less than a year at the helm, Jordaan boasted throughout the ANC campaign that he had turned things around, saying the metro now had a bank balance of nearly R2 billion.
But Trollip said that there was much to be done to fix the metro.
“There will be no more erosion of municipal resources due to corruption and corrupt procurement practices. There will be no more wasting of our resources on the glitz and glamour of irrelevant public events, flashy motorcars, wasteful expenditure on cadre deployment.”
The mayor said his team would establish an efficient, effective and highly skilled administration. The metro’s first council meeting on Thursday went ahead, despite attempts by the ANC to have it delayed. After not arriving in time for the swearing-in ceremony, the party’s councillors, including Jordaan, caused a commotion at the city hall trying to get in, shortly before a walkout.