Picture: ROBERT BOTHA
Picture: ROBERT BOTHA

On Monday, the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) in Mpumalanga condemned a moratorium on the filling of vacancies at Ehlanzeni district municipality, describing the move as a ploy in an escalating proxy battle within factions of the ANC in the province.

The union’s views underscore the heightened tension within the ruling party in the province ahead of its December elective conference.

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza was regarded as a supporter of President Jacob Zuma and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, but now it is unknown who he is likely to lend his support to in the ANC’s succession race.

Samwu’s Mpumalanga secretary, Saul Semelane, said in a statement that at a time when the country’s municipalities had up to 41,000 vacancies, jobs were being ring-fenced to benefit factions in the ANC.

"We are now more convinced than ever that these alarmingly high vacancies are not as a result of the lack of skilled individuals in municipalities, but rather that jobs are factionally reserved for certain individuals as payment for pushing political agendas," he said.

Municipalities were gradually being turned into factional employment agencies, Semalane added, while many South Africans remained unemployed, with service delivery being compromised.

"We therefore urge all political parties to desist from interfering in the day-to-day running of municipalities as there are constitutional institutions charged with the running of municipalities. We further reiterate our call for the immediate filling of vacancies across all municipalities in the interest of service delivery for South Africans, including the prospects of people being employed on a full-time basis with job security."

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