ActionSA notes reports that Mayor Geoff “Gupta” Makhubo is forging ahead with plans to convert fixed-term contract political support staff into permanent employees. This follows the expansion of the number of political staff employed in the City through the deployment of ANC cadres to high paying positions in his office, and that of his MMCs.
The City of Johannesburg currently employs over 1600 political staffers, costing rate payers over R160m. In an environment where the COVID-19 pandemic is placing a great strain on the City’s resources, it is unconscionable that Mayor Makhubo would be seeking to expand this political staff component even further.
This is nothing less than an admission of defeat by the ANC ahead of the Local Government Elections to be held later this year, and an attempt to govern through the back door by forcing ANC cadres on an incoming government.
The move to expand the political staff component is particularly disgraceful given the collapsing state of service delivery and infrastructure in the City, and the decision to roll back initiatives introduced by the multi-party government during my mayoral tenure, such as the extension of operating hours of City-run clinics.
How can Mayor Makhubo cut these vital programs – allegedly due to a lack of funds – while simultaneously seeking to line the pockets of a growing number of ANC cadres?
Upon taking office later this year, an ActionSA government will immediately begin the process of dismissing any unqualified ANC cadres – within the prescripts of the law – and replacing them with competent and professional public servants.
I will also be writing to Gauteng Minister of CoGTA to lodge my concern over Makhubo’s move to permanently employ political staff.
ActionSA believes that competent, ethical, and dedicated public servants are central to the project of reversing the damage Makhubo’s administration has inflicted on the City and ensuring that Johannesburg works for all its residents.