Local Councillors Seek ‘Risk Cover’

SALGA

At a meeting of the South African Local Government Association (Salga) chairman Thabo Manyoni raised the question of insurance cover for councillors to protect them and their families in the event of loss of life and damage during service delivery protests.

2012 has seen the largest number of service delivery protests since 2004 and most often the first stop for angry communities are their local government representatives. Representatives have been attacked during these protests and some have even had their homes burnt down.

During the meeting, which was called to discuss amendments to Salga’s constitution to have a greater representation in parliament, Manyoni said that it was a “sad state” that these local representatives did not have risk cover and with these councillors being killed, injured or having their property damaged, it “paints a very bad picture of how government appreciates the dangers inherent in being a local public representative.”

At the meeting Salga also pushed forward its campaign to secure proper remuneration for councillors including new pay scales, the formalisation of mayoral residences as a housing benefit and extending travel benefits to speakers, deputy mayors and deputy executive mayors.

President Zuma attended the meeting as well and asked that the government’s critics not exaggerate the challenges facing the country. He said these challenges were complex and were due to the “reality of apartheid” but advances had been made and they would continue to be made.

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