Tshwane councillors not paying rent - DA

2015-12-10 19:55

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Pretoria - ANC councillors in Tshwane were not paying rent for the municipal houses in which they were living, the DA claimed on Thursday.

DA mayoral candidate Solly Msimang said the party had proof of how nine councillors - including Chief Whip Jabu Mabona - were living in houses belonging to the city despite owning their own property.

"Mabona lives in a municipal property in Annlin, although he personally owns more than one property in Tshwane. Furthermore, his monthly municipal services account is being paid by the municipality. To date the municipality has paid R32 800 for the chief whip’s municipal services," he said.

"Mayoral committee member Thembi Mmoko lives in a municipal property in Erasmuskloof. During the 2014/2015 financial year, Tshwane spent at least R48 762 on this property, including paying for monthly garden services, pest control and deep cleaning of the property."

Msimang also claimed the city paid for maintenance work on an ANC councillor’s house in Garsfontein - believed to have cost R63 000 - during the 2014/2015 financial year. The work allegedly included installing a sliding door and garage door, fixing a broken stove and repairs to a gate motor.

He also alleged that there were councillors who were running behind on payments, but their services had not been cut off.

However, mayoral spokesperson Blessing Manale denied the allegations. He admitted there was money owed to the city, but said arrangements had been made to recover the historic debt which he claimed was a result of merging the municipalities.

"The total city officials and councillors owe the city is about R361 000. That debt is as old as eight years. Some... was accumulated when the municipality was amalgamated. The people staying in council property are paying rent," he said.

Manale added that the city was re-evaluating its property portfolio to ensure tenants paid market-related rent. Councillors were using different payment methods, including having the amounts deducted from their salaries.

"In terms of maintenance, it is under any general rule of landlord and tenant relationship. A motor of a gate is like a lift, it will be repaired by the landlord, but the garden maintenance will be done by the tenant.

"It is very baseless what they are saying. If there are any councillors owing the city, the credit control has kicked in and we are either deducting from salaries or switching off services. There is no special treatment," he said.

Read more on:    da  |  pretoria  |  local government

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