Municipality to outsource parks and cemeteries positions

No job losses
Leandrea Louw
Walvis Bay • [email protected]

The Walvis Bay council management committee tabled a recommendation to outsource certain positions of the municipality’s parks and cemeteries department during the last council meeting for the year.

The chairperson of the management committee Richard Hoaeb emphasised that no jobs will be lost. “The objective of the motion is to improve productivity in the parks and cemeteries as well as to save costs. It has been decided not to fill vacant positions on a Labourer A1 level within the parks section, but instead to outsource such functions,” said Hoaeb.

According to him, the opinion is held that the outsourcing of basic garden services compared to the filling of the positions with permanent employees, would make the management of parks and gardens in Walvis Bay more productive and cost-effective.

Hoaeb explained that after an initial trial run to judge the feasibility of such an endeavour, it became clear that productivity increased dramatically where outsourcing was applied. He said that the process which was executed through the procurement procedure almost halved the expenses incurred by the council in the execution of the outsourced functions.

In order to formalise this concept into a permanent arrangement, a complete report in this regard was submitted to the council in July 2020. The council then resolved that the matter first be withdrawn for consultation with the relevant staff in the department. This was followed by a meeting with the shop stewards of the parks and cemeteries section as well as human resources personnel and union representatives. The matter was discussed again at an informal council meeting in September 2020. This was followed up with a meeting with regional union representatives in February 2021 - the union needed assurance that there will be no job losses.

It was recommended that the positions of Labourer A1 in the gardening maintenance disciplines of the section parks and cemeteries be abolished as and when they become vacant and that the concept of outsourcing Labourer A1 positions in parks and cemeteries be approved. This will mean no new A1 positions in the park maintenance disciplines will be created should the need for additional manpower occur. Such functions will be outsourced. It was also recommended that normal procurement procedures be followed to appoint contractors and the youth for outsourced functions and that the outsourcing of garden maintenance be restricted to local SMEs in order to create opportunities for local youth entrepreneurs.