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City of Joburg goes ahead to make political office staff permanent employees

Siviwe Feketha Political reporter
City of Joburg goes ahead to make political office staff permanent employees.
City of Joburg goes ahead to make political office staff permanent employees.
Image: Felix Lipov/123RF STOCK PHOTO

The City of Johannesburg has forged ahead with making political support staff permanent employees despite complaints and legal threats.

The move is set to ensure that support staff employed in the offices of the mayor, mayoral committee members and in council do not lose their jobs after the official's political term of office ends.

According to a presentation made to political office staff by executive mayor Geoff Makhubo’s office last week, fixed term employees would now be converted to “permanent all-inclusive package employees”

“Administrative and operational support within political office should be permanent to ensure continuation of functions in these offices at all times including during transition periods,” the presentation reads.

The city is also looking to increase its current 1,673 political staff complement, currently costing around R160m.

Makhubo’s office has already moved to advertise several permanent posts for his private office within the city.

The DA has however threatened to challenge the legality of the move as it claims that it is irregular.

DA chief whip Leah Knott said this would result in political parties being stuck with support staff that had allegiance towards the ANC even after it loses elections.

“We have already taken up the matter with our head office because if this goes through it will force parties to work with people who do not share the same vision as theirs. Support staff is linked to the political term of office and we strongly believe this should not change. This has been done without consultation by the ANC,” Knott said.

Makhubo’s spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase said while the city was indeed making political staffers permanent in the city, this was aimed at giving security to junior employees.

“My understanding is that this is limited to junior employees and not everyone employed in political office,” Ndamase said.

 ANC chief whip Solly Mogase said Makhubo’s decision to effect the permanent employments was well within the law, adding that the DA had made similar decisions during its stint at the helm of the city under former mayor Herman Mashaba.

“There is nothing illegal about this decision and the mayor (Makhubo) has the executive powers to make it. When they came in 2016, the DA made security personnel and cleaning staff permanent and we did not oppose that because they were in charge. They did not consult us,” Mogase said.


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