COUNCILLORS VOTE TO PAY THEMSELVES THE MAXIMUM
It is official, our councillors today voted to pay themselves a handsome salary increase.
This is what they will earn:
Executive Mayor R798 913
Deputy Executive Mayor Vacant ??
Speaker R636 731
Member of MAYCO R596 936
Chairperson of MPAC/S79 R323 242
Part Time Councillors R251 877
The new salaries will be backdated to 1 July 2017. The municipality has not budgeted for these increases and the additional amount of some R500 000 will be catered for in the adjustment budget at the end of February.
They also voted for cellphone allowances of R3 500 per month.
Two councillors did not vote for these increases:
Councillor van Aswegen of COPE proposed an increase for the part time councillors only.
Councillor Myers felt that the increases were not justified, due to Knysna’s dire financial situation and much more modest salaries in the private sector and he abstained from voting.
Some councillors attempted to justify the increases by arguing that they did not determine the upper limits of their pay.
Opposition part time ward councillors argued convincingly that they worked long hours and were often contacted by constituents in the middle of the night.
We however consider the increases for the full time councillors to be unacceptable, insensitive and bordering on immoral. At a time when some fire victims cannot afford to demolish their homes, let alone build a new home, and many cannot find an affordable place to rent, those salaries are a slap in the face of ordinary Knysna citizens.
The salaries were determined by our infamous Minister, Des van Rooyen. Van Rooyen determined the maximum amount payable and our councillors sent a strong message to constituents when they grabbed every cent and voted to pay themselves backpay with effect from 1 July 2017, a mere three weeks after the devastating fire.
We would like to hear from Knysna residents whether they know of anyone in the private sector who is being paid as much as the Mayor, Speaker and the Portfolio Councillors.
To add insult to injury, no money is being budgeted for capacity building of Councillors. Anyone who has attended council meetings and witnessed the woeful proceedings will know that our councillors are in desperate need of training. Yet as Councillor van Aswegen, who is one of the hardest working and best performing councillors, pointed out, hardly any councillors attend the capacity building initiatives provided by SALGA.
To date, 97% of the people who voted in the poll on this page voted AGAINST an increase in councillors’ salaries. So it would seem that the councillors’ and their constituents’ views on this issue are diametrically opposed.
Our thanks to Knysna Politics Exposed for permission to copy this post.