The recently held local government elections might have been over but it's all systems go.
Just weeks after stating they would scrap off the assistant mayor position, the ANC led Amathole district municipality is seeking a political adviser to new mayor Nceba Ndikinda.
The position, advertised in the Dispatch on Monday, comes with an all-inclusive salary package of between R1m and R1.5m.
The ad says the job involves advising the mayor on political and socioeconomic issues, coordinating information about places or countries to be visited by the mayor, researching national and international conferences the mayor could attend, and addressing inquiries and complaints brought to the mayor’s office.
On Friday the Dispatch reported that the district municipality’s bloated and exorbitant wage bill threatened to cripple it. As a result, provincial ANC bosses and the provincial government decided to postpone the appointment of a deputy mayor, pending consultations.
Provincial ANC secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi said after receiving advice from provincial Cogta, they would discuss the issue with stakeholders to see if a deputy mayor was both viable and affordable.
It was also reported that the district authority had recently failed to pay staff salaries and had had to rely on a bailout from the national government.
ADM spokesperson Nonceba Madikizela-vuso, however, downplayed the decision to advertise for a political adviser to the mayor.
She said the position was not a new one.
“Thus it has no more bearing on the municipal finances than other positions,” she said.
Contacted again on Monday about the advertised position, Ngcukayitobi said while they were not aware of the plan, mayors did not consult the party when it came to appointing or advertising administrative positions.
“We can only speculate on the considerations made by the Amathole district municipality. The ANC appreciates the separation between the party ANC and the state,” he said.
The Dispatch has also reported that the decision by then Amathole district manager Chris Magwangqana to upgrade the district from a category 6 to a category 7 municipality in 2013, which had resulted in financial strain for the council, had been declared unlawful, reviewed and set aside by the high court in Makhanda earlier in 2021.
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