The DA, EFF, FF+, ACDP and Sol Plaatje Service Delivery Forum have voted against a proposed 4,9 percent salary increase for councillors that are set to come into effect on July 1, at the same time that electricity, rates and taxes will increase.
THE DA, EFF, FF+, ACDP and Sol Plaatje Service Delivery Forum have voted against a proposed 4,9 percent salary increase for councillors that is set to come into effect on July 1, at the same time that electricity, rates and taxes will increase.
This is while employee costs make up 71 percent of the 2022/’23 annual budget.
Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Kagisho Sonyoni, prevented a round of votes against the motion against salary increases from going through during a special council meeting on June 6.
Councillors from the ANC, PA and Good did not put up their hands when the motion was submitted by the DA.
Sonyoni recommended that councillors should not vote by way of an open vote but should make written submissions to the committee.
He placed the item in abeyance until the next council meeting.
The executive director of corporate services, Ruth Sebolecwe, stated that the upper limits for salaries, allowances and benefits for councillors had been approved in the annual budget, in line with a grade five municipality.
According to the guidelines for a grade five municipality (where grade 6 is the highest grade), the upper limit for a mayor is R1 million, speaker R862,723, member of an executive committee, mayoral committee, whip or chairperson of a sub-council is R808 804 and chairperson of an oversight committee is R785,080.
The new minimum wage has increased from R8,620,79 to R9,043,21 per month as from July 1.
DA councillor Elize Niemann recommended that the funds for salary increased should rather be diverted towards improving dilapidated infrastructure.
“Councillors should make a sacrifice and not accept salary increases when residents are struggling to put bread on the table and pay for water and electricity.”
ACDP councillor Roddy Loff reminded council that the municipality was cash strapped.
“Councillors should not be given increases this year. It is of great concern that employee salaries constitute 71 percent of the overburdened budget.”
The acting municipal manager, Lydia Thekisho, pointed out that should Eskom take over the running of the municipal bank account, as it was struggling to pay overdue debts of R497,1 million as of June 8, no salaries could be paid.