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Bulawayo council faces serious staff shortage

by Staff reporter
17 Apr 2021 at 07:14hrs | Views
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is battling a serious staff shortage, with over 1 300 vacant posts, one of the reasons for poor service delivery.

In December last year, the local authority wrote to the Local Government ministry requesting permission to hire 1 341 staff members over a four-year period, citing the impending human capital crisis.

In 2010, the government, through Section 313 of the Urban Councils Act, declared that no local authority may employ any staff members at any level or grade, including casual or contract workers, without permission from the Local Government minister.

The Act has, however, proven to be an Achilles heel for the BCC as central government is taking too long to approve requests to fill staff gaps.

In response to the BCC's request, the Local Government ministry ordered the council to provide validation for their application.

"Council is being advised to recruit only staff that is deemed critical and supported by its 2021 budget.  

"Please give enough justification to each and every post council is requesting to fill and also attach council resolutions to this effect," read the response from the ministry gleaned by the Daily News.

A latest confidential BCC report obtained by the Daily News indicates that the local authority expressed desire to hire at least 400 staff members for the 2021 fiscal year, while the rest will be hired in the period running up to 2024.

The staff requirement list shows that the engineering service department and the housing and community services department have the biggest shortages of 110 and 100 staff, respectively.  

The financial service department seeks to hire 35, the health services, 90, chamber secretary's office 35, town clerk's office 10 and also 10 for the human capital department, bringing the total number to 400.

The local authority however, resolved to further approach the ministry to be granted standing authority to replace staff, who terminated service, simultaneously in order to reduce the staffing gap progressively every year.

Source - dailynews

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