Joburgs mayor, Herman Mashaba has agreed to pay more than 30 ANC deployees to stay at home for four months because they were appointed by the previous ANC regime.
The newly elected mayor this week collected a memorandum from aggrieved DA supporters during the city’s first inaugural council sitting in a bid to avoid using stakeholder management advisers appointed by former mayor Parks Tau.
The appointees, according to the offer, will be paid their salaries for the remaining three months and an additional month for other allowances and taxes. But it does not include city manager Trevor Fowler, whose term was this week extended until December.
Mail & Guardian also revealed that the letter instructed the ANC Deployees to choose between the early settlement payout of their contracts and redeployment to other departments.
It however, provided no alternative positions for the past two weeks and employees are understood to move in and out of their offices as early as 10am.
“Many of the staff don’t know what to do. There’s no work or instructions being given to them. They come to work early and leave at 10am, because nothing is happening. The mood is bad,” said a senior employee affected by the shake-up, who asked to remain anonymous.
The affected staffs were placed in 15 positions in the mayor’s office, including as political adviser, chief of staff, strategic adviser, spokesperson, speech writer, priority projects adviser, sustainability advisers and stakeholder management advisers.
The other 10 positions are for political advisers and spokespersons for the mayoral committee members and 15 employees.
Speaking on this, Mashaba’s spokesperson, Tony Taverna-Turisan said the contracts are linked to the term of office of the mayor or MMC.
“So these are no permanent employees of the City. On arrival we were informed of a transition period of three months and through bona fide negotiations they requested the offer themselves. Obviously this is a very difficult position because a lot of them are ANC members and it’s difficult to keep them in office.”
Mail & Guardian also said though the DA seems ready to fill these positions from within its own ranks, other MMCs in the coalition council appear less hostile towards the transitional staff .
“There are mixed feelings from the MMCs. There are some that say let the [political advisers or spokespersons] continue because we don’t know the system. Others toe the line of the political principles and say we need a skills audit. Some say these advisers are from the ANC. We can’t work with them,” the source said.
This uncertainty in Mashaba’s office has no doubt, affected the level of service delivery especially as the mayor personally accepted the memorandum from his party’s supporters who said they had not been paid for campaigning during the elections.
With the key positions in the mayor’s office in limbo, delivering instructions to MMCs and other departments is not possible, but the DA insists the decision to pay out the ANC Deployees was taken in good faith.
“It offered the mayor a chance to start staffing his office. There’s no negativity and this is not designed to push anyone out office,” Taverna-Turisan said.