Ricochet News

'Metro needs to do more for us' Ward Committees

By Afikile Lugunya - Jun 5, 2018
'Metro needs to do more for us' Ward Committees

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has until next week Thursday to respond to memorandum of demands, which was submitted   by the Ward Committees on Wednesday last week to Council Chief Whip, Werner Senekal.

According to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), ward committees are made up of representatives of a particular ward. Employed by the municipality, they are made up of members, who represent various interests within the ward. 

The ward committees are chaired by theward councillor and are meant to be an institutionalised channel of communication and interaction between communities and municipalities.

While Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, presented the Metro's 2018/2019 budget, a group of ward committee members attempted to collapse the Council Meeting demanding adjustments be made to accommodate them in the budget.

Explaining to RNEWS, one of the protesters said that they are not happy with the R1 000 that they receive at the end of the month as a "salary and not a stipend as it should be".

According to Xolile Vince, from Ward 26, said that they have been complaining to the Municipality for over three months now, without results, hence they decided to ambush the municipality's budget meeting.

“We are not happy with the tools of trade. It's a stipend, which we receive, but our pay slips say ‘salary'. That means for many of us, we cannot get discounts on services like other residents because we are technically on the Municipal payroll. When we don't pay, because we cannot afford it, we get cut off from the electricity,” Vince described.

“We, as ward committees, also need skills so that when we leave these positions, we are fully-equipped with skills and knowledge.

“We also want an increment - at least that stipend must amount to R5 000.”