Mr Rob Fryer’s letter “Civil unrest exposes failures of the municipality” (The Village News of 12 December) refers. He makes various derogatory accusations against the Overstrand Municipality, but his ignorance of the law is glaringly obvious as will become clear when analysing but just one topic, namely the alleged irregular appointment of the municipal manager and senior managers(directors).
He quotes from the Municipal Systems Act that had already been amended in 2008 – 10 years ago. The term of office of a municipal manager since that date is “…for a fixed term of employment up to a maximum of five years, not exceeding a period ending one year after the election of the next council of the municipality.”
Not two years as stated by Mr Fryer. Senior managers (directors) since 2008 do not have to be appointed on five-year ‑ fixed term contracts as claimed by Mr Fryer and the regulations covering the appointment of senior managers specifically refer to both fixed term and permanent contracts (Regulation 8(1)).
It is a blatant lie that the present municipal manager was appointed until “retirement age” – his initial employment contract was concluded in accordance with the Systems Act for a term of probably less than five years and, on expiry of that term, for a further term of less than five years.
It is a further lie that he was appointed on 20 December 2010 as I was still the Municipal Manager at that stage and my own contract only expired at the end of December 2011. Another lie is that it was on “own recommendation” of the officials. Prior to the 2010 meeting referred to there was a strategic planning workshop, facilitated by an external service provider, where it was agreed by the elected councillors (the directors having recused themselves at that stage) that directors would be appointed on a permanent basis as allowed for by the amended act.
It is another lie that the senior management team is not subject to performance evaluations. A quick search of the municipal website reveals that the 40-page performance management framework as it applies to all staff , but in particular to senior management does indeed exist, and was reviewed by Council as recently as 30 May 2018. Evaluations are done in accordance with this document and comprehensive legal prescriptions which are monitored by the Joint Audit and Performance Audit Committee and which committee includes highly qualified and very competent members of the public. The Auditor-General also does a very comprehensive performance audit based on the performance management plan, the performance agreements and the Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP) as prescribed in the Municipal Finance Management Act.
Clearly the management is not “accountable only to itself” as incorrectly stated by Mr Fryer.
One must in the light of the above exposition firstly question his “competence” as a self-professed legal expert and secondly whether he had a mandate from Whale Coast Conservation to so ignorantly enter a fray that clearly has very little to do with WCC. It appears as if Mr Fryer purposely wants to spread lies with the motive of harming relations between the municipality and the community at a time when bridges of understanding should be built.