Why the long wait for a water solution, Sol?

Virtuele raadsvergadering oor waterkrisis gekanselleer

KIMBERLEY. – Questions were raised about the advertising of a vacant post at the Sol Plaatje Municipality after it came to light that the vacancy, more than a month after the applications closed, has still not been filled.

The post, for assistant director: water and sanitation, is a highly specialized post that will hopefully bring an end to frustrations from residents in the city, who have been subject to endless water interruptions, some lasting for more than three days.

Kobus van den Berg, FF+ councillor, says the party is extremely worried that the vacancy has not been advertised adequately and subsequently did not attract a wide sphere of expertise.

Do not put doubt in minds of resident

“Sol Plaatje will have to be careful not to put doubt in the minds of residents on whether someone has been earmarked for the position already and that processes are only being followed for appearances.”

Sello Matsie, spokesperson for the Sol Plaatje Municipality, could not confirm where the post was advertised, apart from saying “surely it will attract a large number of candidates based on our own social media post, including other print media where it was advertised”.

‘Priority’ to fill position

When asked in which print media it was advertised, Matsie did not answer. The Northern Cape no longer has a daily print newspaper.

Even though Matsie admitted it is “priority” to fill the position as soon as possible and that the position is for “South Africans who meet the requirements”, Sol Plaatje’s own post only reached 37 000 people countrywide.

The post requires the perfect candidate to have a BA in Civil Engineering, is registered as a professional engineer, and has a minimum of five years’ senior management experience in an organization of similar size and complexity. The post offers a salary of R1 324 384 – R1 613 318.

Other platforms not utilised to extend reach

Van der Berg says there are platforms specifically for professional people. “Non-government organisations with the context of the department of water and sanitation, has also provided a list of Cuban engineers who are available and qualified.”

He says the delay in appointing a deputy director is hampering the growth in the province’s main city.

 “Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the best person is appointed. It is only reasonable to expect extraordinary effort to be made to advertise this vacancy as far as possible.”

Reneé Nortje, contract management: supply chain unit for Sol Plaatje, did not reply to queries as to where the advertisement was placed.

No incumbent at the moment

Matsie concluded that the process is under way. He said there is no incumbent in that post at the moment. “The executive director, Boy Dhluwayo has a Master’s degree from Australia. In acting capacity is Sabelo Mkhize, who is also an engineer, including Hennie Harding, also an engineer. Clearly this doesn’t rest on one person but an entire department. Some will be going on pension. Also we make use of contractors like the company which is from Kimberley working in Central Road.”

Matsie said he won’t be able to comment further.

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