Biddulph quits committee role

Mayoral committee member Dean Biddulph
Picture: Mark West

Trollip’s cabinet now has two vacancies

Corporate services portfolio head Dean Biddulph has resigned from the mayoral committee, leaving Athol Trollip’s cabinet with two vacant positions.

Biddulph has been at the helm of the corporate services and human resources portfolio for 13 months.

He resigned on December 1 and is set to join the Ireland-based CHBC Office Group as chief operating officer while he continues on as Ward 2 councillor.

Yesterday, Biddulph said he would not be leaving the Bay despite his new corporate home being headquartered abroad.

Biddulph’s resignation leaves the mayoral committee with two vacancies after former deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani was fired from his position as political head of public health in April.

Trollip has been acting in the position ever since.

Yesterday, Trollip said the two positions should be filled next week.

Biddulph said he had accepted the offer from CHBC as “I believe it opens up new opportunities for my family and me”.

Biddulph said he was compelled to resign as mayoral committee members could not hold private paying positions.

He said he was confident he would be able to juggle his corporate job with being a ward councillor.

“I managed to do both mayoral and ward council jobs successfully.

“I continue to serve at the pleasure of the voters of Ward 2 and the party,” Biddulph said.

He said the party had been happy for him to stay on as ward councillor, which was a part-time job as opposed to a full-time appointment in the mayoral committee.

His tenure as political head alongside executive director Vuyo Zitumane saw the city create an R8.4-million saving on telephone costs, while the purchase of the Fidelity building is expected to save the city R15-million a year as rent will no longer be paid.

Other strides made by the department included developing a functioning leave system as well as heralding the city council into the digital age with paperless agendas.

“It has been an absolute privilege to serve in the cabinet of Mayor Trollip.

“Contrary to certain opinions, he has been an amazing boss and easy to work for as long as you do your job to the best of your ability,” Biddulph said

“My time on the mayoral committee has been a wonderful period of personal and career growth. I will certainly miss the challenges but equally relish the new opportunities ahead.

“I wish my successor every success.”

Trollip said Biddulph’s move had come as a shock.

“I could not possibly have anticipated this eventuality.

“We will miss Biddulph’s experience and great sense of humour,” he said.

“Corporate services is a critical department and improvements have been made but more are still required and we all [must] collaborate to achieve these.”

Speaker Jonathan Lawack said the systems act allowed for proportional representation (PR) and ward councillors to have full-time jobs.

“Ward councillors are parttime councilors and because of that they are allowed to have jobs,” Lawack said.

South African Local Government Association spokesman Tahir Sema said whether or not ward councillors could have jobs differed from municipality to municipality.

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