Pretoria: At least 72 percent of municipal posts were filled nationally this financial year, with the lowest in Limpopo with 61.5 percent filled.
This is according to the State of Municipal Capacity Report (SMCR) for 2010/11, released by the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) on Wednesday.
Municipal Demarcation Board Chairperson Jackie Mahlangu said 76.4 percent of posts in municipalities’ organograms were budgeted for, adding that it remains a challenge to fill posts in rural municipalities.
“Of the funded posts, where municipalities can afford to fill these posts, 32.5 percent remain vacant. It is significant that almost 1 in 3 budgeted posts nationally are vacant,” he said.
When it comes to relevant work experience, Mahlangu said work experience for Section 57 managers is consistently lowest in the Free State. Section 57′ is a term commonly used for managers employed according to the requirements of section 57 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act.
“Municipalities in the Western Cape have the most experienced municipal managers and chief financial officers as well as technical service managers.
“Gauteng has the most experienced corporate services and Integrated Development Plan (IDP) managers.
“The North West, Gauteng and the Free State’s municipal managers are on average very new to their positions as compared to other provinces,” he said.
It is very significant finding that 25 percent of Section 57 posts (1 and 4) were vacant for more than three months in the 2010/11 financial year and the affected provinces are Mpumalanga, the North-West, the Free State and the Northern Cape (42.6 percent).
Mahlangu said almost one out of six Section 57 managers exit their respective municipalities in the course of the year.
Provincially, Kwazulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga had higher than average exit rates, with Free State’s rates the highest at almost one in four managers exited in the year.
However, Mahlangu said a significant proportion of exits were due to dismissals, adding that nationally, 13.1 percent of Section 57 exits were dismissals.
Provincially, dismissals accounted for 28.2 percent of exits in Mpumalanga, 23.6 percent in the North West and 16.7 percent in the Western Cape.
Mahlangu said dismissals themselves cannot be perceived negatively if they represent the willingness to act in the face of problems.
In terms of qualifications, municipal managers have the highest qualification levels as almost 50 percent of Municipal Managers have a post-graduate degree and 1 in 3 have a Master’s Degree or PhD.
Corporate services managers follow in having similar high levels of academic qualification, but while municipal managers and corporate services managers have high levels of tertiary qualifications, this contrasts strongly with technical services managers.
Almost 50 percent of technical service managers do not have an undergraduate degree, yet are responsible for services that account for the highest proportion of municipal asset value and for functions that represent the bulk of municipal expenditure.
However, this comparison of qualification showed significant increase in the academic qualifications of senior managers obtained in the 2008 capacity assessment.
More than 50 percent of the 468 town planners surfaced through the survey were employed by Metropolitan municipalities.
The National Development Plan Vision 2030 puts forward the need to stabilise the political-administrative interface by focusing on skills and professionalism, making local government a career of choice by emphasising experience and expertise in recruitment of senior managers as well as ensuring that local government is equipped with the necessary technical and specialist skills.
The MDB has historically conducted its annual Municipal Capacity Assessment since 2001.