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SALGA NEC calls on review of councillor safety amidst killings

Posted: 20 July 2017


The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) National Executive Committee (NEC) has called on the safety needs of councillors to be reviewed amidst the recent spike of their killings.

This was after both the safety of Mayors, Speakers and Ward Councillors dominated the NEC agenda during its meeting in Ekurhuleni on Wednesday, 19 July 2017. The call followed the murder of Councillor Thozama Njobe, the Speaker of Raymond Mhlaba Municipality in the Eastern Cape this week. Her death was one of many in local government across South Africa recently.

Speaking on the conclusion of the NEC meeting, SALGA President Councillor Parks Tau said the call to look into councillor safety was in-line with the ongoing discussions by the association on Councillor Welfare and Support.

“The NEC agreed that the killing of councillors in recent times was an indictment on the local government sector and its constitutional mandate of service delivery. This is particularly the case as those targeted in the killings are service delivery foot soldiers, who have availed themselves to serve once elected by their communities,” Councillor Tau said.

He added that the NEC has subsequently agreed to open deliberations on finding solutions to the brutal loss of councillors under the overall affairs of Councillor Welfare and Support that SALGA is currently looking into.

Councillor Welfare and Support was one of the NEC meeting’s agenda items, alongside the Auditor General’s Report on SALGA and the Action Plan to address the AGs Findings on the organisation and the Implications of the Section 139 Interventions in municipalities.

Also tabled at the meeting was the Outcomes of the recently held Council of Mayors and Proposals for the upcoming Council of Speakers next month, as well as the Adoption of SALGA’s position on the ESKOM 2018/19 Revenue Proposal as informed by the South African Constitution Act 108 of 1986.

The NEC further agreed that following failed attempts to resolve the matter through intergovernmental relations, SALGA should approach the courts to clarify powers of municipalities in respect of the reticulation of electricity, and the relationships that ought to exist between municipalities and Eskom for purposes of reticulation and distribution of electricity.

The NEC also resolved to convene an Energy Summit to discuss the future of energy from a local government perspective.

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