More than 9 000 councillors in the country are set to receive a salary increase. This has emerged in a notice published in the Government Gazette last month in which Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize determined the upper limits of the salaries, allowances and benefits of all categories of councillors.
Mkhize said he made the determination after consultation with MECs responsible for local government in each province.
The notice states that councils should obtain permission from the MEC for local government prior to implementation of the provisions of the notice.
This will be after a council took a resolution, supported by a majority of councillors, for the municipality to pay councillors within different grades of remuneration.
The notice shows full-time councillors serving as mayors in metro municipalities will pocket R1350250 in annual remuneration packages, speakers and deputy mayors will receive R1090488, and members of the executive committee, whips or chairpersons of sub-councils R1027223.
Councillors elected to a district municipality will be entitled to a sitting allowance amounting to R1020 regardless of the district council or committee meetings on a specific day.
Those councillors serving on a structure of the South African Local Government Association will be entitled to the same R1060 allowance.
The notice also provides for a part-time councillor who uses privately-owned transport to discharge official duties to be reimbursed for kilometres travelled.
However, a councillor who uses a municipal-owned vehicle will not be reimbursed.
The notice states that all councillors will be paid a cellphone allowance of not more than R3400 a month. This is in addition to the total remuneration package for all councillors.
All councillors will also be paid an allowance for use of data not exceeding R300 a month.
This, too, is on top of their salary packages.
The notice highlights that a municipality must take risk insurance cover for loss or damage to a councillor’s property and assets, as well as life and disability cover for any loss or damage caused by a riot, civil unrest, strike or public disorder.
“The special risk insurance on residential property will be limited to R1.5million while on vehicles it is limited to R750000.
“The life and disability insurance is limited to two times the total remuneration package of a counsellor.”
According to the notice, a municipality may provide “tools of trade” – resources to councillors to discharge their duties most efficiently and effectively, in the form of office space, business cards, letter cards and diaries, among other things.
All councillors may be allocated a laptop or tablet while those visually impaired may receive a Braille reader.
Full-time mayors may be allocated official accommodation, fittings and furniture.
The personal safety of councillors is also listed as “tools of trade”.
“Executive mayor, mayor or speaker may not have more than two bodyguards.
“Deviation may be based on the recommendations of the SAPS,” reads the notice.
“Any other councillor (may receive a bodyguard) subject to a threat and risk analysis conducted by the SAPS.”