News24

Councillors want protest insurance

2012-01-15 21:15

Johannesburg - The country’s 10 055 councillors want insurance at government’s expense to cover themselves and their properties against violent service delivery protests.

The SA Local Government Association (Salga), the representative organisation of municipalities, has asked national government to take “dramatic action to prevent loss of life and damage caused by disgruntled communities”.

“Councillors should be entitled to, at the cost of municipalities or the state, risk benefits including but not limited to death cover, disability benefits, funeral benefits and cover for assets lost or damaged as a direct result of public violence,” reads a Salga letter to Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi.

In the letter, which City Press has seen, Salga chairperson and Mangaung Mayor Thabo Manyoni says councillors are the face of government on the ground and are continuously forced to flee their homes because of violence and criminal behaviour during service delivery protests.

Manyoni says current laws do not protect councillors and they have no automatic recourse for damages unless they lodge damages claims against their municipalities.

Costly

The plan might prove costly if implemented across the board instead of only for councillors in service delivery hotspots, according to a municipal manager.

“Some councillors have more than one property while others live in expensive suburbs,” says the municipal manager, who has asked not to be identified.

Manyoni has three properties, including one in Harrismith, while his Midvaal counterpart, Timothy Nast, owns a property in Henley-on-Klip, two in Vereeniging and one in Durban.

Manyoni’s Salga colleagues, Gauteng chairperson and Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau has properties in Berea and two in Winchester Hills, while Western Cape chairperson Demetri Qually lives in Marina da Gama, where houses range between R800 000 and R4m.

Cape Town's mayor, Patricia de Lille, owns a R2m house in Pinelands.

Treasury

As local government debt is increasing and finances are depleted, councillors now want to be paid by the national Treasury instead of municipalities from April.

Last week, Treasury revealed that 66 of the country’s 283 municipalities are in “financial distress” and another 37 “on the borderline of being identified as being in financial distress”. Municipalities are owed R75bn by businesses, government and households.

Councillors also want their benefits to be benchmarked against those of members of provincial legislatures, who earn between R820 000 and R1.5m.

Salga has asked Baloyi for an upward adjustment of cellphone allowances for part-time councillors, who currently do not receive this perk.

Councillors are paid monthly phone allowances of between R1 000 and R3 200.

Comments
  • Cracker - 2012-01-15 21:38

    Surely if no insurance company is prepared to give protection it signifies a serious situation.

      Warren - 2012-01-15 22:09

      Perhaps if the idiot protesters stop voting in the same lazy KFC councillors that did absolutely nothing the last time around, then they won't need to protest... but that's just me.

      Gollum - 2012-01-15 22:19

      Insurance, sure no problem but why should government (read TAXPAYERS) pay for this? They earn massive salaries to do a job, insurance against protests amounts to an incentive not to their jobs

      Walter - 2012-01-15 22:54

      And what's next, insurance for not getting re-elected (because of incompetence), to achieve a life-long pension? The quicker South Africa runs out of money, the better, it will stop this entire crap!

      George - 2012-01-16 07:45

      Dont or cant do your job, Get FIRED

      Stirer - 2012-01-16 08:31

      Best "insurance" is that they do their jobs - its what they are paid to do. It's also the cheapest insurance they'll ever get. Why must taxpayers keep forking out for incompetence?

  • Terence - 2012-01-15 21:42

    Why don`t they buy their own insurance like the rest of us mere mortals. Years ago City Councillors got paid a small petrol allowance and if they were lucky got a biscuit with the free cup of Tea after their meetings. They were volunteers with their constituents affairs at heart. The problems only started when the job became a well paid full time job, get rid of the lot of them and I hazard a guess that in the real world nobody will even notice. Employ qualified profesionals and get the job done.

  • Cracker - 2012-01-15 21:44

    But also bear in mind that nobody forces the councilors to take up their positions. Something very peculiar about this country. The same assurances that the councilors are looking for must be paid by the same citizens that may not like the councilors' performances. Ripleys believe it or not.

      Terence - 2012-01-15 21:56

      I wonder if the queue to become a Coucillor would be so long if they did not get R25,000+ per month? I think not!

      carpejugulim - 2012-01-16 07:48

      It's going to be fun if this is declined. What are the councillors going to do, refuse to deliver on services that they are already not delivering on? I am pretty sure that not ALL the councillors are wanting this insurance, I could probably name a few that aren't. Seems to me that responsibility, accountability and having your constituents best interests at heart have yet again fallen by the wayside in the scramble to have one's own interests covered by the taxpayer

  • Kim - 2012-01-15 21:46

    Thumbs up to the Insurance company who insures such madness. They will be milked in no time

      Warwick - 2012-01-16 10:01

      Raped like they are raping the very people who voted this useless scum into power.

      vitual16666 - 2012-01-17 14:52

      its most probably the Insurance COmpanies who thought of Such Cover and suggested it to the Councillors. Again Private Sector Capitalists get to Rape the System. Not gonna see any insurers backing off...gladly tender:)

  • Gareth - 2012-01-15 21:47

    Ha ha I would love to see government scratch its head over this one...just like the e-toll plans. Way to throw the ANC another Rubik's cube...

  • Gartjie - 2012-01-15 21:48

    If there was service delivery, there would be no protests, therefore no need for insurance.

  • Geronimo - 2012-01-15 21:49

    Surely the answer is to just come down hard on violent protests. No lawful protest should ever be allowed to devolve into a spree of wanton arson, destruction of property, theft, looting, intimidation etc.

      Cracker - 2012-01-15 21:56

      A lot of course depends on the kind of intentional exploitation that is taking place and actually being fostered. No normality.

  • mystae - 2012-01-15 21:57

    They're basically asking for more money and benefits because they can't do their jobs properly. How does that work?

      Steward - 2012-01-16 00:07

      It's a way of saying, "Seeing as our posts are secured, you'd better protect us." Lets face it, the way things are going nothing is going to change except the protests getting more violent. Today it is the counselors, tomorrow cabinet. Who knows? I guarantee you it won't be ten years before you hear of a minister being chased out of his house due to protest actions.

      George - 2012-01-16 07:53

      If they want are not happy with there house, burn it and get a free upgrade. What a joke

  • Kealeboga - 2012-01-15 22:01

    Prevention is better than cure, ensure service delivery and no one will have to worry about violent protests.

  • cliff.slabbert - 2012-01-15 22:01

    Firstly why don't they start delivering and secondly who do you think is going to pay for this, the tax payer? I think not!

  • Trevor - 2012-01-15 22:02

    LOL... If you can't do your job WE must pay "again on the gray train"...to keep you safe???? just...who is paying TAXES...to cover "this"....the TAX payer isn't the ones "burning those houses down" for bad service delievery????

  • Winston Harris - 2012-01-15 22:06

    Something else to think about - the cost of running this insurance plan per month for all these councillors could probably sort out service delivery issues in some communities.

  • Arthur - 2012-01-15 22:13

    I say they should be made to face the people they want to be insured from on a weekly bases in a public square, instead of having the insurance, to ensure they do their jobs. Why do they want this, for their new homes that is expanded and rebuild without building plans, for their extravagant lifestyles ? Because they are above the population?

  • Saksak Motsepe - 2012-01-15 22:34

    lol. Such madness. "people protest when I don't do my job therefore I need insurance so that I can continue not doing while being protected." Thumbs down. Boooo

  • Ian - 2012-01-15 22:35

    oh really so us tax payers must pay for your insurance and why, because you clowns refuse to do your jobs properly, service delivery is a non existant joke with you lot

      George - 2012-01-16 07:56

      Correction Ian CANT is the word

  • Kenjaymay - 2012-01-15 22:58

    This is just a ploy by a very clever insurance salesman!

  • graeme.c.lok - 2012-01-15 23:00

    I'm sorry what? the politicians now demand perks??? the fact that they have three properties whilst their constituents live in a shack without the basics??? the fact that even regular taxpayers are being deprived of security and services as they start to fall apart and now the politicians look to be insured basically against the mess that their incompetency is causing is effing ridiculous.

  • Themba Mbuyisa - 2012-01-15 23:00

    Unbelievable. Just lastweek it was reported that since elected they've been more concerned about which cars to get than doing their jobs. Now they want us to foot the bill for peace of mind while they carry on with wa-Benzi.

  • Patrick - 2012-01-15 23:31

    maybe if they did there fu*ken job, then there wouldnt be a need to protest!!!! insurance??? hahaha.... R1000 - R3200 phone allowances??? im not usually a negative person, BUT, in my opinion, sa is gonna get way worse b4 it gets better!!!

  • Bar23 - 2012-01-16 01:51

    April already?

  • Sarel Brits - 2012-01-16 05:30

    Why do the masses keep on voting for them, you deserve the goverment you keep in power.

  • Ben - 2012-01-16 05:52

    They cannot be serious. This means admitting that they refuse to improve service. Fire all of them.

  • Hielke - 2012-01-16 06:55

    Maybe. just maybe these inept lazy buggers need to get of their fat backsides and start to deliver on their freaking promises instead of demanding more money, insurance ...... ensure the lazy trend continue.... and higher perks.

  • Zion - 2012-01-16 07:08

    This is the joke of the year and these councillors come over as a bunch of fools. Why are the disgruntled members of the community unhappy? simply because of the poor service delivery. Were the councillors to up their services and do their jobs like it should be done then there would be lesser unhappy people and the nation can pay less on insurance bills. The answer is not insurance but rather the removal of a finger from a bodily orifice. The very fact that these clowns are demanding insurance indicates they are not capable of doing their job.

  • Lawrence - 2012-01-16 07:39

    Maybe some of them should settle their outstanding municipal account arrears before asking for insurance - one I know of already owes R200 000 in rates. Disgusting!

  • Peper - 2012-01-16 07:42

    If they did their job and delivered the services they would not need any insurance!

  • George - 2012-01-16 07:47

    Gov must then insure everyone in SA as well. Our property also gets dammaged in protests and riots and this must be FREE

  • Bigrp - 2012-01-16 08:18

    I've got news for these idiots...most insurance companies won't give you or your property "protest insurance"; and if they do, the premiums will be astronomical!

      George - 2012-01-16 09:28

      So Guess who will be paying for it?????????????

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-01-16 08:23

    These people in most cases cause the riots. They obviously want the taxpayer tp pay for their sins and that should not be allowed. let the unions and political parties pay, as they are the ones who cause most problems.

  • jack.kukard - 2012-01-16 08:24

    Maybe just maybe if you got up off yous arses and delivered as promised there would be no need for it.......

  • Kala - 2012-01-16 08:56

    WTF!!!! Surely if you actually did what you are paid to do then there wouldn't be any protests by the people. And if you spent the money on the community and not on buyer houses for yourself then there would be less chance of protests taking place. The councillors are clearly earning way to much already as they can afford to buy and maintain up to three or four properties.

  • Vince.York - 2012-01-16 08:58

    BEST INSURANCE IS JUST DO YOUR JOB EFFICIENTLY AND IN TIME - or get the hell out and let people who CAN do the job take over.

  • TheWatcher - 2012-01-16 09:10

    Well then do your damn jobs and maybe people will feel less inclined to torch your houses...

  • tacod - 2012-01-16 09:39

    first, do you work and the insurance would not be required. second, you wanted the position, so deal with the community in such a way as you and your party promised. thirdly, insurance is for the members own account, as if they don't earn enough. fourthly, if you as councilors want treasury to pay for it, you must also pay taxes on your corruption income by declaring it. fithly, the treasury monies is not there for the councilors convenience, it bis public funds and the public should have a say in the spending of it. not councilors piggy bank.

  • tacod - 2012-01-16 09:42

    who's buddy will write all the councilors and who will get a cut of the commission?

  • Warwick - 2012-01-16 09:59

    If these dimwits acually delivered on all their promises during election times meybe these protests will be a lot less. These councillers earn huge salaries paid for by ratepayers, why should these so called councilors now get free insurance. If you cant do your job, leave so competent people can start delivering. Check Manyoni, he has three properties. Are supposed to pay for his insurance now. I am sure he earns enough to pay for his own insurance or must the frustrated electorate now also pay his insurance while they, the elctorate, live on promises. REVOLUTION AGAINTS CORRUPT COUNCILLORS AND UNFULFILLED PROMISES.

  • Retief - 2012-01-16 11:24

    If they deliver the services they were appointed for, they don't have to fear any protests. Answer is" NO, pull up your socks and you don't have to fear anything"

  • Sethole - 2012-02-14 12:34

    There be no service delivary knowing that if their properties are damaged or destroyed they will be covered.

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