The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) today attended the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Richard Baloyi’s budget speech in Parliament.
“While we welcome the Minister’s commitment to transform all municipalities into transparent, effective and efficient centres of service excellence, IMATU is of the opinion that the challenges and problems sighted in the Minister’s speech are concerns that our members have raised repeatedly in the past. Lack of skills and poor management of the supply chain must be urgently addressed at all levels within local, district and metropolitan municipalities in order to ensure efficient and sustainable service delivery,” commented IMATU General Secretary Johan Koen.

IMATU welcomes the Minister’s announcement to regulate the salaries of municipal managers and implement a national recruitment and selection policy by the end of this financial year. “It is imperative that managers’ remuneration levels are standardised and that every municipal entity takes responsibility for spending rate payers’ money wisely,” stated IMATU President Stanley Khoza.
IMATU leadership met with the Minister Baloyi late last year to detail the challenges faced by its members as well as re-committing to better service delivery for all. IMATU leaders outlined concerns regarding the erosion of municipal services through privatization, increasing trends of employment casualization, infrastructure failures in municipalities as well as the dire need to eradicate nepotism, fraud, corruption and other criminal activities in and around the municipal structures.

“In order to address the current challenges faced by many municipalities, IMATU believes that the Department will need to firstly, retain the skilled people that it currently has and secondly, embark on a recruitment drive to source workers with the appropriate and relevant skills currently lacking. A nationally acceptable recruitment and selection policy must be implemented to put an end to nepotism and corruption. Municipalities must improve their collection of revenue; the outstanding debts owed to municipalities in 2010 alone was over R50 billion. Employees and councillors should be trained effectively, municipalities must adhere to sound internal auditing systems and action must be taken against non-performing employees,” outlined Koen.

IMATU believes that strong municipal leadership with a zero tolerance policy to corruption and wasteful expenditure will ensure improved service delivery and a reliable local government.

“IMATU is committed to working towards achieving an efficient and sustainable service delivery model at local government level, however the commitment of our members on the ground must be matched by decisive implementation and political will at the top,” stated Koen.