Kouga mayor turns municipality into family recruitment agency

17 January 2023

Kouga mayor turns municipality into family recruitment agency

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in the Eastern Cape province has learnt with great anger revelations that the Kouga Local Municipality’s Mayor, Cllr Haratio Hendricks’ daughter, Nakita Hendricks was irregularly appointed by the municipality. This was not the first appointment of Ms Hendricks by the municipality as she had previously been appointed in a political office as a Ward Assistant and also acted as a volunteer for the same municipality.

Ms Hendricks is currently employed as an Auxiliary Officer by the municipality whose administrative leader is her father. The fact that Ms Hendricks was on two previous occasions afforded an opportunity to work in the municipality gave her an unfair advantage over other suitably qualified and deserving candidates. To make matters worse, Ms Hendricks does not have the required experience for the job. According to the Mayor, Ms Hendricks was appointed because other candidates who were shortlisted for the position withdrew.

In another illogical defense, the Mayor has gone as far as arguing that previous mayors before him had relatives employed by the municipality during their turner. The fact that those who came before him erred does not legitimize the appointment of Cllr Hendricks’ daughter, in fact, two wrongs do not make a right. As SAMWU, we have surmised the appointment of Ms Hendricks as turning the municipality into a recruitment agency for the Hendricks family.

As a union, we always rejoice when municipalities employ people, playing their role in stimulating local economic development and reducing the high levels of unemployment in the country, especially among the young. We however cannot fold our arms and be silent when municipalities are deliberately being turned into stokvels by political leaders at the expense of qualified and suitable candidates.

The argument by the Mayor that he does not sit in recruitment processes of the municipality is flawed because senior managers within the institution know the relationship between Ms Hendricks and Cllr Hendricks. It therefore does not comes as a surprise that Ms Hendricks, despite lacking the required experience was scored the highest by the interview panel.

As SAMWU, we demand the immediate withdrawal of the appointment of Ms Hendricks and that disciplinary actions be taken against Cllr Hendricks for nepotism. We all want a recruitment process that is not clouded in controversy and nepotism to be followed in making all appointments in the municipality.

Issued by SAMWU Eastern Cape

Yalezo Luzuko
Provincial Secretary
071 628 7586


Lorna Lubedu
Deputy Provincial Secretary
071 900 5014