Councillors need risk benefits - Salga

2012-01-21 07:00

Johannesburg - Councillors face a risk of public violence and therefore need risk benefits, the SA Local Government Association (Salga) said on Friday.

Salga has urged the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs to introduce risk benefits for councillors, spokesperson Milisa Kentane said.

"Councillors face a greater risk of violence than office bearers in other spheres of government; yet the current legislative and policy frameworks do not grant councillors any protection should this eventuality arise."

While recognising the democratic right to protest, the government should also recognise the increased violence during these protests, Kentane said.

"This escalation of violent protests has not only seen the damaging of personal property, but has caused financial and psychological trauma, injury, and the loss of lives."

On Friday morning, the house of a councillor in the Sedibeng District Municipality was burnt down.

"We are not able to assess the damage at this point in time... The mayor of Sedibeng and the councillor will meet with the leaders of disgruntled illegal occupants of RDP houses who were served with eviction notices."

Kentane said Salga reiterated the call for risk benefits in the event of damage, disability, or death due to public violence.

It should be at the expense of the state or the municipality and included in the remuneration framework, he said.

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