Ward committee members to be paid

2008-04-29 00:00

WARD committee members will now receive a meeting allowance of R300 for travelling and out-of-pocket expenses for each ward committee and ward community meeting they attend.

Acting manager in the speaker’s office, Nondumiso Hlela, said that the decision by the Msunduzi Municipality’s executive committee was prompted by the fact that many committee members are unemployed and are not remunerated as stipulated in the Establishment of Ward Committee Policy.

“The policy does, however, allow for them to be reimbursed for travelling and out-of-pocket costs incurred as a result of attendance at ward committee meetings,” said Hlela.

Funding is available for payments for the remainder of the year and the ward committee members will be reimbursed for meetings held from January this year.

The DA opposed the payments.

Councillor Mark Steele argued that R300 is too much, as travel would be within the ward committee member’s local area.

He asked how the amount was calculated, and commented: “One hopes, then, that ward committees won’t be under the impression that they can have an indefinite number of meetings at council’s expense”.

Hlela assured Exco that the number of meetings held by the ward committees and members in attendance would be monitored to ensure that the stipulated number of not fewer than six and no more than 12 meetings per year is adhered to.

IFP caucus leader Dolo Zondi welcomed the allocation of R300, saying that it is fair and will be helpful to those ward committee members living in remote rural areas.

Councillor Themba Zungu (ANC) said the amount is not adequate as the cost of living has increased.

“Petrol and food prices have rocketed and these ward committee members are unemployed and most of them don’t have cars. I think this amount needs to be reviewed and increased after three months,” he said.

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