The Democratic Alliance (DA) in uMgungundlovu District Municipality rejects the proposed salary increase for Councillors and senior managers as per the District’s 2020/21 draft budget and calls for the funds to instead be redirected towards social relief for the Coronavirus pandemic.
The proposal for salary increases which was made on the last virtual Full Council meeting held by the ANC-led municipality is appalling. While tens of thousands of residents in the municipality are struggling to make ends meet, the municipality has decided to line their pockets instead.
At the same meeting, the ANC rejected the proposals made by the DA to offer Covid-19 Relief for both individuals and businesses who cannot afford to pay rates during this time. The DA was of the view that the increases should be rejected and for the funds to rather be directed to assisting destitute families. Citizens are severely impacted and affected by the pandemic and finding it difficult to make ends meet, but ANC Councillors and Senior Managers obviously believe that charity begins at home.
The proposed salaries are as follows:
-Senior managers will receive a 6.5% salary increase.
-The Mayor’s salary that was R1 006 726, is proposed to increase to R1 046 260.
-Deputy Mayor & Speaker’s salary was R805 382, the proposed increase is R837 597.
-EXCO & Whip were earning R755 045 the proposed increase is R785 247.
-MPAC Chair was R732 898 the proposed salary is R762 214.
-Ordinary Councillors were R318 591 the proposed salary is R331 335.
Of great concern is the reality that the municipality barely has enough money to service monthly operational costs.
We have since written to the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sipho Hlomuka to request for his intervention as per the Municipal Financial Management Act, 2003 (Act No. 53 of 2003)
According to the Act, he has a duty:
-To secure sound and sustainable management of the financial affairs of municipalities and other institutions in the local sphere of government;
-To establish treasury norms and standards for the local sphere of government, and to provide for matters connected therewith.
The DA, even under unfavourable circumstances, will continue to prioritise lives and livelihoods of residents through proposing to council ways in which we can assist our people to survive the Coronavirus pandemic.