Kouga’s new leadership would like to work closely with all municipal staff because it is the workforce that holds the key to improved governance and service delivery.
That was the message from Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen at the first mass meeting of the new leadership with municipal staff last week.
The Mayor said the new leadership had had several meetings with union representatives prior to the mass meeting.
“It is our duty to look after our staff so that they will, in turn, look after the public,” she said.
“The unions gave us a long list of staff matters that require urgent attention. Together we identified the top priorities which will be addressed immediately. This includes settling long-outstanding arbitration awards.”
She said one of the biggest concerns expressed by staff was low morale, linked to alleged unfair labour practices.
“We would like to give staff the assurance that staff morale is very important to the new leadership. We want staff to be happy in their place of work. We want them to know that they are worthy of their positions and that they are being remunerated correctly,” she said.
She called on all staff to help build a positive new image for Kouga Municipality.
“Kouga’s corporate image needs a lot of work. Our workers are very important when it comes to this because they are the face of the municipality.
She further called on staff to help the new Council make Kouga sustainable by minimising budget leaks and maximising the municipality’s income.
“All staff have a role to play. For example, a worker who reports water or electricity theft is contributing to the sustainability of the municipality. We also need to bring an end to poor management practices in the budgetary process.”
She said the new leadership wanted to work side by side with the municipal workforce so as to make Kouga a place of which everyone can be proud.
“We don’t want to govern from a distant height. We want to govern with you because we know that, without you, we cannot turn Kouga around.”