5 February 2013

South Africa: Kwazulu-Natal (KZN) Treasury Tells Municipality Officials to Shape Up or Ship Out

press release

Today, the contingent of all the KwaZulu-Natal Municipality officials including Mayors, Senior Managers and Chief Financial Officers convened under one roof at Sinodale Centre in Pietermaritzburg where they were informed by National and Provincial Treasury that heads will roll if they do not comply with the municipal regulations on minimum competency.

In 2007, the municipal regulations on minimum competency were published, comprising four of the following specifications: a higher education qualification, work-related experience, compliance with competency regulations, and inclusion on the performance agreements of the managers. The municipalities therefore had 5 years to comply with these regulations as prescribed by National Treasury.

Speaking at this workshop, the National Treasury Chief Director on Capacity Building, Mr Schalk Human said that "Regulations are a result of an extensive consultation process and the agreement was reached that by the 1st of January 2013 all the municipalities must have satisfied these regulations.

But out of the 61 municipalities in the province, only 37 municipalities made applications for special merit consideration. Those that have not applied will have to do so before the closing date, 28 February 2013 or will have to terminate those employees that are not compliant".

In a bid to assist the KwaZulu-Natal Municipalities, the Provincial Treasury has taken leadership in coordinating this matter for the provincial municipalities and to engage municipalities on further discussion regarding minimum competencies, which also resulted to today's workshop and engagements.

Municipalities were engaged by Treasury about the requirements of the minimum competency regulations, unpacking what this means as well as implications of circular 60 which provides a clause for delayed implementation (special merit cases).

Treasury made it clear that municipalities that have not submitted applications for special merit cases need to do so before 28 February 2013. Municipalities need to be clear on the fact that this is not exemption but a deferral as the province is not willing to compromise quality talent.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Finance, Ms Ina Cronjé, warned the attending municipal officials that these regulations have been there for quite some time now.

"All staff have to comply with minimum competency levels. There will be no exemptions, and the grace period is there to help officials to get their qualifications in order. Otherwise nobody will be exempted. There is a grace period just to give officials some more time to reach the required competency levels. Those officials who do not comply and do not meet the minimum regulations will lose their jobs. The government also has standards and regulations, people just have to comply and be competent enough to deliver quality services for the people of the province" she said.

Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Treasury

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