DA slams move to sack brokers

THE move by eThekwini municipality to fire labour brokers has led to opposition parties calling for "transparent tender processes".

DA leader in KwaZulu-Natal John Steenhuisen said the council kicked out opposition leaders in the tender committees and gave powers to ANC officials.

"This thing of awarding tenders to the ANC cronies has been going on for a long time now," he said.

"And we call on the municipality to have a transparent tender process."

Steenhuisen said thousands of jobs will be lost if labour brokers are sacked and that countrywide the figure looks to be more than 300000.

Last week eThekwini municipality announced that a total of 1192 permanent appointments had been finalised out of 2576 posts that had been identified.

But the statement was rejected by some local business leaders who said the decision was a ploy to "control everything and selectively give work to cronies".

City manager Michael Sutcliffe denied that the process of firing agencies in the city was a "selective approach", saying it was a mandate from the ANC's Polokwane conference.

He said it was aimed at giving decent jobs to the people as per the Polokwane resolutions.

"We are converting all temporary staff positions to permanent employment contracts as per political instructions."

Those against the city's move questioned why the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convection Centre, which is owned by the city, continued to use labour brokers although the municipality had introduced a process to do away with them.