I wouldn’t be a critic and list an endless number of problems R309 million can solve in South Africa. I’d rather tell the tale just the way it is.
R309 million have been availed for distribution to Councillors who were not re-elected to their offices.
As culled from a City Press report, our government has forked-out R309 million to serve as golden handshakes for SA outgoing Councillors.
BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that it was earlier estimated that R100 million should be made available for the golden handshakes.
Perhaps, more Councilors than anticipated wouldn’t be returning to office. Anyway, the number of Councillors to take home the R309 million is still unknown.
According to the national spokesperson for the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the number of Councillors is still unknown because the data haven’t been availed.
“We are still waiting for the Independent Electoral Commission and municipalities to provide us with the information,” Tahir Sema stated.
Sema named the R309 million “compensation”, and divulged it’s for Councillors who were not re-elected and those who didn’t make their parties’ candidate lists.
“In principle” Sema said, “a decision was made to compensate SA outgoing Councillors, who will not return, for their services to their respective municipalities and because many will have to apply for other jobs.”
Similarly, SALGA’s chief executive in Western Cape, Khalil Mullagie related that the R309 million will serve as an immediate support for retiring Councillors.
Mullagie disclosed that the money will be shared in line with a formula made up of the number of terms the Councillors served as well as their salary scale.
The chief executive emphasized that it’s a usual practice saying: “this is similar to what happened when Councillors were not re-elected in the last municipal elections. I think there is a similar support fund for members of Parliament when their term ends.”
Also, the spokesperson for the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Legadima Leso confirmed the R309 million deal saying it’s a “gratuity payment” for all outgoing Councillors across SA.