R309m in golden handshakes for non-returning councillors

2016-08-11 14:32
Des van Rooyen, Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. (Netwerk24)

Cape Town - A whopping R309m will be paid out in cash to municipal councillors who were not re-elected.

Every one of these councillors will receive a golden handshake equal to up to three months' salary for their "services and contributions" as soon as the new councillors are sworn in, Netwerk24 reported.

This is to tide them over while they wait for their pensions to be paid out.

Legadima Leso, spokesperson for the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des van Rooyen, told Netwerk24 this will cost R309m and will be a once-off cash payment.

"Those who have five or more years of service will get an amount equal to three months' salary and the rest will receive a pro rata amount," he said.

Councillors' tax and municipal services debt will be paid first before the final payments are made.

Khalil Mullagie, chief executive officer of the South African Local Government Association (Salga) in the Western Cape said the same was done after the 2011 elections.

He described it as a temporary support system for the non-returning councillors.

Professor Jaap de Visser from the University of the Western Cape's Dullah Omar Institute said Salga has been working on a strategy to support non-returning councillors for a long time. It is part of the association's strategy to better look after councillors.

Salga also has training programmes to empower councillors for when they leave their municipal jobs.

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