More than 100 heads could roll at public works department as De Lille takes charge

Patricia de Lille says a clean-out is underway in her department, with thousands of cases currently before the Special Investigations Unit. Picture: Moneyweb

Patricia de Lille says a clean-out is underway in her department, with thousands of cases currently before the Special Investigations Unit. Picture: Moneyweb

The Public Service Commission has found that 12 senior managers and 94 middle managers were irregularly appointed.

It is believed that more than a hundred senior and middle managers at the department of public works could be dismissed, eNCA reports.

This is as a result of new Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille taking action based on an investigation requested by her predecessor, Thulas Nxesi, which looked into 688 appointments at the department.

The Public Service Commission found that 12 senior managers were irregularly appointed. De Lille has since approached the labour court to have their appointments declared invalid.

The commission has subsequently found that another 94 middle managers were also wrongly appointed, meaning the removal of the senior managers is likely only the beginning.

“We are simply following the law, what was done was illegal and we are all subject to the law. Also, there are many qualified people out there who cannot find jobs, so it’s also a matter of fairness that you begin to get people into government that’s qualified to do the job that can deliver on service delivery,” De Lille told eNCA.

“This is to show that government is very serious about service delivery, that we need to make sure that we deliver quality service, but also the ‘batho pele’ principle that we need to put people first,” she continued.

The Public Service Union have taken issue with the manner in which De Lille is going about the dismissals and said it would oppose any attempts to remove its members from their positions if poor performance cannot be proven.

The department of public works has responsibilities including the custodianship of state-owned land, which includes about over 93,000 buildings and roughly 29,000 land parcels.

De Lille, who was mayor of Cape Town and a member of the DA before she was removed as mayor, left the party and founded a new one, called Good, which achieved 0.40% of the vote and one seat in parliament.

In a surprise move, she was then offered a cabinet position only hours before President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his new executive.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)

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