'False qualifications' at municipality bother

Icosa Councillor Wilbur Harris. Photo: Michelle Pienaar

GEORGE NEWS - The appointment of employees with false academic qualifications at George Municipality is still a huge issue which has not been properly addressed.
This is the reaction of Icosa Councillor Wilbur Harris to comments made by the Municipal Audit Committee (MAC) on this dilemma, as contained in the Draft Annual Report for 2015/2016.
During a MAC meeting more than a year ago on 29 January 2016, the committee expressed their concern relating to the "reputational risk to the municipality with regards to employees with false academic qualification".
It reads as follows: "Council to take note of the Audit Committee's concerns relating to appointments made by the municipality and request Council to request a full investigation into in this regard."
According to Harris, nothing has changed in practice since the warning from the MAC in January last year.
However, Municipal Spokesperson Chantel Edwards-Klose confirmed that the George Municipality does verify all qualifications of prospective employees with the institutions that issued these qualifications. "The municipality is finalising the appointment of a service provider that will independently verify the qualifications of all existing and new appointments," said Edwards-Klose.
"In instances where an employee is promoted to a senior position due to acting / performing these duties for a period of time without meeting all of the requirements, then this appointment is made on lower salary grading, until all requirements are met."
Harris maintains that candidates with valid qualifications are being overlooked. He referred the matter to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC). "This practice influences service delivery. There are employees in service of the municipality in all the directorates, people in managerial posts, supervisors, who don't have the appropriate qualifications," he said.
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