Training lined up for new councillors - MEC

2016-08-04 17:36

Cape Town - The country's new councillors will hit the ground running with intensive training and support measures in place for them, said MEC for local government in the Western Cape, Anton Bredell, as the 2016 municipal elections started wrapping up.

"We started preparations for the 'day one agenda' and what must happen in the first week, two years ago," said Bredell.

The SA Local Government Association (Salga) and the national department would alternate training, bolstered by many videos.

A special degree course had also been jointly created by the University of Stellenbosch and the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality that would, not only solidify new councillors' knowledge, but would result in a university degree by the time their term was over.

Twelve different training modules had been devised to accommodate different learning styles and needs.

"You get councillors who can barely read, and you get councillors that are professors and doctors," said Bredell.

"How do you train all of them and keep their attention span?"

Budget shock for new councillors

Bredell said the first thing councillors did when they entered office was ask, "where is the money?" to fund the promises they had made during the election.

"And then they see that perhaps there is no budget for it. It is a shock for them."

Salga and the department would share the training load., he said.

But first, the election results have to be declared. That must be done within seven days of the day on which the elections took place. The announcement is expected to be made by IEC chairperson Glenn Mashinini on Saturday.

After that, the results are published in the Government Gazette and parties have 14 days to form their council.

That process would probably be quicker in municipalities won with an outright majority. It would likely take a little longer where parties will have to consult with other parties to form alliances.

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