The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) in Gauteng’s Mogale City is up in arms that speaker of council Noluthando Mangole “wants to convene more than 77 councillors and other officials on Thursday morning to participate in a special council meeting to discuss the salary increases of councillors”.
FF+ councillor Tjaart Steenkamp said in a statement on Wednesday night that Mangole – despite the national state of disaster due to the Covid-19 coronavirus – did not advice on health and safety measures that have been put in place but merely asked councillors to arrive early at the Centenary Hall in Krugersdorp, where city council meetings were traditionally held.
“Mangole’s actions are utterly irresponsible while the rest of the country is expected to comply with the regulations that were announced in terms of the Disaster Management Act. She has not announced any measures whereby she will ensure the safety of councillors,” Steenkamp said.
Mogale City Local Municipality services the areas of Krugersdorp, Kagiso, Magaliesburg, Muldersdrift and the surrounding township, rural and informal settlements.
The second item for discussion on the agenda, Steenkamp said “is the election of a chairperson for the Public Municipal Accounts Committee after Bongani Nkosi from the IFP was appointed as a member of the Mayoral Committee”.
He said his party was not opposed to the fact that city councils must keep functioning during the period of lockdown, “but the national regulations must be adhered to” .
“Virtual meetings are now a common occurrence and technology is being successfully utilised on both national and provincial levels,” he said.
He said: “It is extremely insensitive to place matters such as salary increases and the election of a new chairperson for a committee on the agenda in a time when people are starving and many have lost their jobs”.
Steenkamp said the FF+ preferred to see Mangole reach out a helping hand to small and medium-sized enterprises to offer support to businesspeople in a time when many were forced to close their doors.
“Many enterprises have not yet been allowed to reopen and as a result, the possibility exists that they may have to close down permanently,” he said.
He added that the party wanted an explanation beforehand on how the Covid-19 regulations concerning hygiene would be implemented during the meeting.