Staff recruitment restraints frustrate Ezemvelo chiefNEWS / 21 October 2016, 09:43am
Durban - The chief executive of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has expressed his frustrations at not being able to appoint a single employee since he took office nearly a year ago.
David Mabunda was brought to Ezemvelo in December last year on a three-year contract as an interim chief executive after a period of turmoil at the entity in 2014 and the subsequent suspension of his predecessor, Dr Bandile Mkhize.
This week, Mabunda told lawmakers of “a lot of problems we experience relate to capacity on the ground”.
“It is very difficult to be a chief executive that can’t appoint a cleaner, when a competitor down the road can hire people as and when they are needed.
“I’m still waiting, I have not appointed anybody since I arrived, because of all problems we all know – fiscal consolidation and also the need to rationalise and ensure there are savings,” Mabunda said.
“It has been a difficult process, but despite that, there is vast improvement. I say in the presence of the auditor-general that Ezemvelo is much a better institution than it was a year ago,” he told lawmakers.
The public entity, like others and provincial departments, has to first seek approval from Premier Willies Mchunu and the provincial treasury for the filling of critical posts.
This is in line with a moratorium on filling of posts the provincial government introduced last year as part of cost cutting measures.
On Thursday, Ezemvelo spokesman, Musa Mntambo, said they were still waiting for approval to fill about 179 vacant posts.
Mntambo said vacancies included 67 field rangers, 43 general assistants, six labour supervisors, 35 posts like fence liners in an anti-poaching unit, 25 ecotourism-related posts ranging from resort managers to general staff, and three corporate positions like legal manager.
Meanwhile, Ezemvelo’s parent department, Economic Development, told Scopa on Thursday that it had made a submission for approval of 79 vacant critical posts.
Departments appearing before the standing committee on public accounts since last week have complained about having to wait for the approval of posts by Mchunu and the provincial treasury.
Some have even blamed the failure to spend their budgets in the 2015-16 financial year on cost-cutting measures and the moratorium on posts.
The Social Development Department, as an example, last week ascribed its R97.648 million under-expenditure to delays in filling posts in the departments’ administration, children and welfare services and restorative services directorates.
MEC Weziwe Thusi had said her department had submitted a total of 155 posts for approval.