COSATU rejects the shocking proposed increases for Mayors, Councillors and Municipal Managers

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) rejects with contempt the shocking proposed increases for Mayors, Councillors and Municipal Managers announced by the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).  These proposed backdated increases reflect a leadership at COGTA and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) that is out of touch with the dire economic constraints facing the country and the chaos that local government has fallen into under their watch. 

It is beyond the comprehension of any sober person that COGTA could offer increases to Mayors, Councillors and Municipal Managers who have presided over the deterioration of local government where within a single decade the number of municipalities experiencing financial distress has galloped from 10% to 90%. 

Under their watch 36 municipalities have embarked upon a mass pickpocketing scheme, committing fraud and violating numerous labour and pension laws by routinely refusing to pay their employees and even deducting their pension, medical and insurance contributions whilst failing to then transfer them to their respective funds.  SALGA and COGTA have been deafeningly silent whilst Tshwane Municipality has refused to pay their staff 2 years’ worth of increases and purged over 100 staff, sparking instability when communities are desperate for municipal services.  We are now witnessing Newcastle and Enoch Mgijima Municipalities mimicking Tshwane and choosing to abandon the 2023 wage agreement signed by SALGA and organised labour in the bargaining council.  This is a recipe for labour market instability that no one can afford.

This is beyond offensive when basic services have collapsed in many towns, from Lichtenburg to Frankfort, resulting in companies closing, retrenching workers and further plunging those communities into absolute poverty.

COSATU supports the progressive call of its Affiliate, the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) for the funds that would be used to indulge these pampered Mayors, Councillors and Municipal Managers be diverted to Municipal Revenue Offices to employ staff, invest in IT capacity and increase revenue collection and thus help stabilise and rebuild this critical arm of service delivery.

The Federation demands Treasury intervene and have this insult to indigent communities and the working class withdrawn with immediate effect.  Parliament needs to exercise its budgetary approval powers and bring an end to such insanity.

Issued by COSATU
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687