The Jozini local municipality in rural KwaZulu-Natal is accused of employing a teacher in the position of communications manager.
The appointment comes after the communications manager, who had been in the position since 2016, was unceremoniously removed in 2021.
Sunday World has been reliably informed that the communications manager was replaced by a new deployee who is purportedly related to a prominent IFP leader in the area upon the new administration’s takeover in 2021.
According to a source, the current communications manager does not meet the job requirements because she is a teacher with no experience in journalism or communications.
The irate worker then decided to take a leave of absence, seemingly as a show of defiance. This resulted in a disciplinary hearing.
Said a source who spoke to Sunday World: “Besides that, the appointment was flawed; the new communications manager has no journalism or communications background.
“Clearly, this was a political appointment because he is a relative of those who wield political power.
“The previous [communications] manager is now sitting at home and getting her full salary. Under normal circumstances, there should be an investigation into the conduct of the municipality. It’s a wasteful expenditure.”
It has also been discovered that the position of communications manager was not advertised.
According to a former municipality human resources official, the former communications manager was, as far as she was aware, redeployed somewhere else.
“We did advise when we were approached that it would be difficult to get her out completely; hence, we said she should be sent to another department with her full benefits,” she said.
“I have since left the municipality, and I wouldn’t be privy to other details.”
Municipal manager Jaconia Mngomezulu told Sunday World that the former communications manager is facing disciplinary action for her absence from work.
Mngomezulu did not address questions concerning the hiring of the teacher as a communications manager.
He argued that the municipality’s actions were not malicious and cited the fact that the municipal migration policy permits employee transfers between departments.
“The new administration of Jozini municipality has not fired any communications managers,” said Mngomezulu.
“There is a migration policy that allows for the movement of staff from one department or unit to another. Most of our employees do accept the movement.”
A municipality’s communications manager earns about R50 000 a month, excluding benefits.