Joburg mayor defends councillors' call for salary reviews

2015-06-24 22:07
(Muntu Vilakazi, City Press)

(Muntu Vilakazi, City Press)

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Johannesburg - Local government officials want to be paid using the same criteria applied to MPs and they want to be recognised for the work that they do, Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau said on Wednesday.

"The current system is that at the point of election the public office bearer is not full time, as opposed to an MP," Tau said.

"There are instances where local public representatives feel that the amount of work that they are doing forces them to be full time and many of them have had to leave their jobs."

Tau said in some instances councillors were told they needed to quit their jobs so they could fulfil their duties as public servants.

Last week, The Times reported that municipal councillors were demanding the same pay as members of parliament, R1.3m a year.

This was after Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan had gazetted a system for grading municipalities and the salaries paid to their councillors based on the size of the population they serve and their ability to generate revenue for their constituency, it said.

The councillors reportedly argued that they had comparable responsibilities.

Tau, speaking as the Gauteng chair of the SA Local Government Association (Salga), said on Wednesday that government needed to make a decision on whether they wanted councillors to hold permanent posts, which would enable them to do their jobs better.

"That's the debate that should be had because I suspect that we reduce it to "Who earns what?' when it should be about 'Do we think the democracy and public representation would be enhanced by having full time councillors?"

Read more on:    parks tau  |  johannesburg  |  local government

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