Bulawayo Council extends jobs freeze

THE Bulawayo City Council has extended its freeze on new staff recruitments by a further six months, despite an employee shortfall of more than 1 000 employees, citing its financial situation.

REPORT BY STAFF REPORTER

Council is reportedly operating with more than 1 000 vacancies, with the health services department being the worst affected.

A number of BCC employees are also holding their posts in an acting capacity, while others have not been given substantive work contracts after months of working on a contract basis.

“The director of Health Services reported that in terms of council staff conditions of service, Chapter 12 Clause 8, the head of department was required to report to the General Purposes Committee circumstances leading to the staff member acting continually for a period more than six months.

“The staff members named above had acted for a period exceeding six months,” the minutes read. “The posts fell vacant due to staff retirements and redeployment. These posts had not been filled owing to the current freeze on recruitment.”

The local authority resolved to extend the acting period of personnel by a further six months.

Latest council minutes said the freeze on new staff employment has been extended, pending a change in the financial situation of the local authority.

“The freeze will be maintained and it will only be lifted once and when the economy improves and our financial situation gets better,” deputy mayor Amen Mpofu explained in an interview.

The local authority blames residents and government departments for worsening its financial situation by failing to pay rates.

Government departments owe the council close to $4 million in rates and services charges.
Council says this is resulting in a pay backlog and forcing it to retrench.

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