Councillors must sign new ‘declaration of confidentiality’

2015-09-16 06:00

A NEW declaration of confidentiality will need to be signed by all Msunduzi councillors in order to regulate what they are allowed to discuss with the media and the public regarding confidential matters.

Municipal manager, Mxolisi Nkosi, said that the declaration was a new initiative that was developed in order to “get a handle on matters of confidentiality”.

Exco member councillor Judith Lawrence questioned why a new declaration needed to be signed as one was signed when each councillor is sworn into office.

Nkosi responded saying the initial declaration “did not adequately cover” the issue of confidentiality.

In the report presented to Exco it noted that councillor Vic Winterbach did not agree with the signing of the declaration as he believed that such was adequately in the pieces of the legislation and the signing would deter councillors from participating fully during debates.

Councillor Bill Lambert questioned what impact­ the new document would have on each councillor’s ability to have freedom of speech.

Nkosi ensured that all councillors would continue to enjoy the benefits of freedom of speech in council chambers when it came to matters of confidentiality and that the declaration was there to further ensure that the matters discussed in the confidence of the chamber are not taken to the public.

Exco approved the declaration of confidentiality and that each councillor be requested to sign it once during their term of office with the Msunduzi Municipality Council

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