Out going councilors to cost SA R309m in payouts

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The golden tap has still not run dry for councillors who have not been re-elected because the government has made R309 million available for payouts.

Legadima Leso, spokesperson for the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, confirmed the amount, calling it a “gratuity payment” to all outgoing councillors across the country.

Earlier, it was estimated that the amount that would be made available was R100 million.

Tahir Sema, national spokesperson for the South African Local Government Association, said that “compensation” would be made for councillors who were not re-elected or who did not make their parties’ candidate lists.

“In principle, a decision was made to compensate outgoing councillors, who will not return, for their services to their respective municipalities and because many will have to apply for other jobs.”

It is not known how many councillors would benefit from this deal.

“We are still waiting for the Independent Electoral Commission and municipalities to provide us with the information.”

Khalil Mullagie, Western Cape chief executive of Salga, said the payouts were an immediate support system for retiring councillors.

The money would be administered by Salga in collaboration with the department.

Mullagie said the payments would be based on a formula made up of the number of terms that the councillors served as well as their salary scale.

According to Mullagie this isn’t a new development.

“This is similar to what happened when councillors were not re-elected in the last municipal elections. I think there is a similar support fund for members of Parliament when their term ends.”

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