Labour brokers out in Ethekwini

THE eThekwini municipality is doing o away with labour brokers and provide decent jobs on its own.

The council used to employ a large number of agency and temporary contract staff essentially as a result of the ongoing restructuring processes.

Municipal head of corporate and human resources Dave Cloete said the municipality was proud that to date a total of 1 192 appointments had been finalised out of 2 576 posts that had been identified. The processes started in July and will be completed this year.

"It's work in progress. At present the municipality is converting all temporary staff held against permanent positions to permanent employment contracts.

The direct hiring of staff will not necessarily result on savings for the municipality since they will be responsible for all costs related to full-time employment.

Eight agencies are affected but the municipality will not divulge their names.

But Cloete confirmed that when the restructuring process and employment process began, tenders were put out for agencies to supply the municipality with staff.

In addition, all permanent funded posts against which agency temps are held are being advertised and filled on a permanent basis," he said.

Cloete said the aim was to reduce the numbers of temporary staff and create decent employment for all.

"Temporary employees who have been held against permanent positions for two years or more are being automatically converted to permanent contracts in the posts they are held against," Cloete said.

He said the municipality had become the first to implement the conversion of contract staff members to permanent positions countrywide.

He said the move came after consultation with its labour component.

KwaZulu-Natal Cosatu secretary Zet Luzipho applauded the municipality's gesture to give people permanent positions.

"As a union we have been advocating the issue of giving our people full-time jobs and do away with labour brokers," he said.

Luzipho said they were appreciative of what the council was doing.

"We would like to see government departments and municipalities taking a lesson from the eThekwini municipality.

"We are really thrilled by this move. In the past few weeks a municipal worker in the KwaMashu hostel hanged himself out of frustration about working as a temporary for a long time."