Please find attached soundbite by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP
As at 31 May 2022, a total of 281 public servants were serving as either PR or ward councillors in various municipal councils. This is according to information in a written reply to a Parliamentary question by the Democratic Alliance (DA), to the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), on the number of public servants currently serving as public representatives, in various capacities, at municipal councils.
Further, according to the DPSA, out of the 281 public servants serving as councillors, approximately 30 are employed in national departments and the remaining 251 in provincial departments. The province of Kwa-Zulu Natal has the highest number of public servants serving as councillors, with 150 public servants serving as either PR or ward councillors.
Moreover, 86 % of the public servants in Kwa-Zulu Natal currently serving as councillors are employed in the Provincial Department of Basic Education.
The Public Service Act provides public servants with leeway to serve as councillors, but only on a part-time basis.
While public servants may undertake part-time council work as PR councillors, this is often not the case for the position of ward councillor as Schedule 5 of the Municipal Structures Act, provides that a full-time councillor may not undertake any other paid work, except with the consent of a municipal council.
This then begs the question of how many of the public servants, currently serving as councillors, sought and obtained approval from their respective municipal councils to continue working as public servants.
In an attempt to solicit an answer to this question and to ensure that the identified public servants are serving as councillors with the requisite approval from their respective municipal councils, the DA will, today, submit follow-up questions to the Minister of Cooperative Governance, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, requesting her to confirm, amongst other things, how many of the public servants which are currently as serving councillors have sought and obtained approval from their respective councils to continue their employment in the public service.