390 ward com­mit­tee mem­bers not paid since last year

The Witness - - NEWS - SA­BELO NSELE • sa­belo.nsele@wit­ness.co.za

MSUN­DUZI Mu­nic­i­pal­ity has be­come en­tan­gled in an­other non­pay­ment row.

It now emerges the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has not paid even a sin­gle cent to 390 ward com­mit­tee mem­bers since they were elected in Novem­ber last year, seven months ago.

The elec­tion of 10­man ward com­mit­tees in 39 Msun­duzi wards was com­pleted last year af­ter lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

Though the ward com­mit­tee mem­bers have been at­tend­ing two meet­ings, as well as one in their wards and City Hall re­spec­tively ev­ery month, they have not re­ceived their stipends.

The non­pay­ment comes af­ter the mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­cently failed to pay about 70% of its staff their May salaries on time.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity also abruptly can­celled the ward com­mit­tees mem­bers’ in­duc­tion pro­gramme sched­uled for this past Sun­day.

Mu­nic­i­pal spokesper­son Thobeka Ma­fum­batha con­firmed the city had not paid the stipends.

She said ward com­mit­tee mem­bers had “de­layed” sub­mit­ting their proof of bank­ing de­tails af­ter they were asked to do so af­ter their swear­ing in, in Fe­bru­ary.

She did not say when the stipends would be paid out.

A ward com­mit­tee mem­ber from ward 31, Veno­lin Goven­der, said the city had made many prom­ises that it has not de­liv­ered on.

He dis­puted that the ward com­mit­tee mem­bers had only been asked to sub­mit their bank­ing de­tails in Fe­bru­ary.

“We sub­mit­ted them last year. In Jan­uary we were told Msun­duzi had lost every­body’s bank­ing de­tails and we were asked to re­sub­mit. Since then, there have been so many meet­ings at the City Hall but we have not been paid. ”R

He said the in­duc­tion had been can­celled on Sun­day be­cause the city knew they were go­ing to be asked about the stipends. How­ever, Ma­fum­batha said the in­duc­tion had been can­celled due to poor at­ten­dance.

“What is most painful is that most of the peo­ple who are in ward com­mit­tees are se­nior ci­ti­zens who de­pend on old age pen­sions and they need these stipends.”

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