Unqualified municipal officials face the chop in South Africa

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan warned municipal officials on Monday that government had no intention of extending the January 1, 2013, regulatory deadline for enforcing minimum competency levels for municipal accounting officers, saying that “officials may find themselves without a job, should they fail to comply”.

In a hard-hitting address to some 1 400 delegates attending the Institute of Municipal Finance Officers (IMFO) conference, in Ekurhuleni, Gordhan warned that the deadline, as outlined in regulations promulgated in 2007, were “not negotiable”.

Accounting officers, chief financial officers and senior managers would have to “meet those requirements, or walk out with your bag”. “Generally, municipalities wait until the eve of a deadline to react. This tardiness will not be tolerated,” he said, describing the lack of appropriate skills and experience as the root cause of poor decision-making and service delivery failures.

In his earlier address, outgoing IMFO president Chris Nagooroo said that, while progress had been made on meeting the minimum competence requirements, there were still a significant number of practitioners who still did not meet the criteria.

“The implications of this will certainly have to be considered by municipalities and by the National Treasury,” Nagooroo argued. Read more…

 

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