KZN headmen threaten to boycott local elections unless they get salaries

2015-07-06 17:56


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Durban - Frustrated izinduna [headmen] in KwaZulu-Natal are again calling on government to honour its promise of paying them a monthly salary or they will boycott next year’s local government elections.

Chairperson of Izinduna in KwaZulu-Natal, Vusumzi Mthethwa, said on Monday that they had waited long enough.

“We told them in our meeting, last week Thursday, that if they do not pay us, this time we will embark on a march and even worse, we will disrupt next year’s elections.

“We will make sure that all the people living under izinduna in KZN do not go out to cast their votes - and remember, there is a large population of people living under izinduna in KZN.

“They promised to pay us a long time ago and they haven’t. Why do they go to the media and make statements when they know that they will only do it in 10 years’ time?” said Mthethwa.

According to reports, President Jacob Zuma recently decided to standardise salaries of izinduna with a R84 125 flat rate annual salary, as recommended by the Commission for Remuneration of the Public Office Bearers.

There are currently 2 039 izinduna in the KwaZulu-Natal and the department would reportedly need R171m to cover their salaries annually.

Premier Senzo Mchunu met with izinduna last Thursday to discuss the contentious issue of stipends.

Rumours of a march on 'Maritzburg

Mchunu’s acting spokesperson Sibusiso Magwaza explained there had been unconfirmed rumours that izinduna were planning a march in Pietermaritzburg to voice their unhappiness. They were also going to hand over a memorandum about stipends, which they believe are already paid to their peers in other provinces.

Magwaza said izinduna were under the impression that the 2013 Presidential Proclamation paved the way for them to be paid monthly.

“Due to other meetings that izinduna have held with other government officials, and the belief that as of Thursday, government owed them a back pay of close to R1bn, the meeting between them and the premier did not go without hiccups,” he said.

Magwaza said the premier indicated that the Proclamation of 2013 was not the only reason that izinduna from other provinces are getting stipends.

“In fact, this is done because the said provincial governments have passed legislations giving effect to izinduna to receive stipends as early as 2004, but successive KwaZulu-Natal governments did not pass this legislation, hence it remains difficult to pay stipends to izinduna like in other provinces,” he explained.

Addressing the izinduna, Mchunu said: “It is very unfortunate that these are not the news you were expecting, but these are facts and we must deliver them to you as they are."

Mthethwa said: “When we met with the premier, he told us that there were too many of us [izinduna] in KwaZulu-Natal and he said when the president made the proclamation, there was no budget attached.”

He said Mchunu informed them that he had escalated their issue to the Presidency.

“We have asked the premier to meet with us before the end of July to tell us when we are going to get paid otherwise we will put the strike back on the cards,” he said.

Read more on:    durban  |  local government  |  politics

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