BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has been given the greenlight by the Local Government ministry to hire 400 employees, bringing relief to the local authority that is battling an exodus of staff, in particular nurses.
The development comes weeks after the ministry approved a council request to promote 19 employees from the engineering, financial services and town clerk’s departments.
In 2010, the government through section 313 of the Urban Councils Act declared that no local authority could employ at any level or grade, including casual or contract workers, without written permission of the Local Government minister.
The local authority has also been blaming failure to attend to sewer and pipe bursts on staff shortages.
“We wish to inform you that, in an internal memorandum dated May 7, 2021, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works approved your request to recruit 400 staff members,” a letter addressed to the BCC from the Local Government ministry read in part.
In December last year, the local authority wrote to the Local government ministry requesting permission to hire 1 341 employees over a four-year period, citing an impending human resource crisis.
Council clinics have reportedly been operating at less than 50% staffing levels amid reports of an exodus of health professionals.
Early this year, council said 10 resignation letters were being submitted every month by nurses protesting low salaries.
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