NELSON Mandela Bay’s interim city boss, Themba Hani, will return to his provincial post in Bhisho by the end of the month, according to Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane.
Hani’s contract and possible replacement were supposed to be discussed at a full council meeting today.
However, in an e-mail to provincial ANC leaders – which The Herald has seen – Qoboshiyane said councillors should be informed today that Hani’s secondment could be lifted by the end of the month.
Hani would be replaced by an interim manager from within the municipality’s ranks while the process of appointing a permanent municipal manager was under way.
Hani, who was seconded in October last year, was supposed to lend administrative support to the municipality for no longer than three months, until the process of appointing a permanent municipal manager was completed.
But due to a high court bid by one of the candidates for the post, Sithembele Vatala, he was requested to stay on.
Qoboshiyane said: "The council of [today should] be apprised that by the end of August, Mr Hani’s secondment by the provincial department may be lifted in favour of the council designating [from] among its officials someone to act in the position.
"The department, through my office, will draft a process plan including therewith the conditions to prepare a final closing report that must be tabled to council of August 30 by the acting head, [municipal manager] Mr Hani, for council to note with recommendations.
"The period between the council of [August 7 and 30], I propose, must be a cooling off period for senior top management to [sit] with the section 154 support team to prepare for a smooth hand-over facilitated plan for the new incumbent’s appraisal.”
The hand-over plan, according to Qoboshiyane, should be handled by a team including him, ANC regional secretary Zandisile Qupe and chairman Nceba Faku, as well as the council leaders, Cooperative Governance Minister Richard Baloyi and ANC provincial chairman Phumulo Masualle and secretary Oscar Mabuyane.
Qoboshiyane suggested that the meeting today be "a scene-setting meeting for processes to unfold” rather than one to take decisions. This would give council leaders enough time to get the political support they needed from councillors.
"The stand-off and militating stances and complete collapse of trust and relationship are not helping the situation. Rather, [it is] stagnating progressive political consciousness and leadership that is so required at this time.
"We need to break the deadlock in Nelson Mandela Metro and report to all our structures,” Qoboshiyane said. Approached for comment about the e-mail, Qoboshiyane’s spokesman, Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, said: "We don’t want to comment about Mr Hani’s contract at this stage. The communication in the e-mail is an internal document that can’t be talked about publicly ... The nature of the document involves the integrity of government and the ANC.”