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Municipality illegally paying 10 Councillors salaries for eight months now

JUNE 5, 2017
Municipality illegally paying 10 Councillors salaries for eight months now

The Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality has for the past eight months illegally paid 10 Councillors full-time Councillor salaries, without the approval of Eastern Cape MEC of Governance and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa, the Democratic Alliance (DA) alleges.

"The municipality has in the past received instruction from the MEC’s office concerning the illegality of the 10 full-time councillors, and was advised to immediately revoke their appointments," claims Malibongwe Xhelisilo, a DA PR Councillor in the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality.

"In a recent reply from MEC Fikile Xasa, the municipality was again warned that it cannot afford to appoint all 10 councillors on a full-time basis, and was further advised to appoint just 6.

"However, since September 2016, all 10 councillors have been receiving full-time salaries illegally, and have continued to ignore two instructions from the MEC for close to a year."

Xhelisilo adds athat, even with the recent approval of the 6 out of the 10, the municipality is not allowed to authorise full time councillor payments pending the announcement of those appointments in the Provincial Gazette.

"We believe that all 10 Councillors need to pay back every extra amount that they’ve received since September 2016. The municipality continued to ignore the MEC’s directive and have continued the illegal expenditure, rather than focusing on service delivery in our nearly bankrupt municipality," he said.

"Our municipality cannot continue to drown in debt while certain African National Congress (ANC) officials continue receiving money intended for service delivery.

"I again appeal to the Acting Municipal Manager of Enoch Mgijima Municipality, Siyabonga Nkonki, to ensure that all 10 councillors immediately pay back each and every cent that was paid to them illegally.

"I further request that he stops the payment of full-time councillor-salaries to all ten councillors until an official announcement is published in the Provincial Gazette."

The Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality was established after the August 2016 local elections by the merging of Tsolwana, Inkwanca, Lukhanji local municipalities.