Salga urges councillors to contribute to Solidarity Fund

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The South African Local Government Association (Salga) says its National Executive Committee has recommended that councillors, officials and its staff should contribute towards the Solidarity Fund established at a municipal level.

Salga says instead of contributing to the national fund, municipalities should have their own fund aimed at benefitting local communities.

The association was briefing Parliament’s Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Committee about its response to COVID 19 and the Disaster Management Act.

Salga Chief Operating Officer, Lance Joel says, “There is no decision that the NEC has taken to force Municipalities to implement. So what the NEC is saying is that it is recommending that councillors, officials and Salga staff must contribute and pledge. There are proposals made on how councillors should pledge, how senior managers should pledge but also how your bargaining employees should pledge. Those are the recommendations that are being made.”

In the video below, Salga condemns flouting of COVID-19 lockdown regulations by councillors:

Salga says the R20 billion emergency funding from government will be a great help to municipalities which are in financial distress.

The association says the money will help cover shortfalls where communities are unable to pay for rates and services due to the impact of the national lockdown.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced this month that the money will be made available to municipalities for the provision of emergency water supply, increased sanitisation of public transport and facilities, as well as providing food and shelter for the homeless.

“But municipalities which are not in financial distress, what we are also contributing to the table is that they be allowed to reprioritise their budgets. That would be able to cover a lot of our communities, but we are in consultation and discussion with Cogta. We should be able to assist municipalities to assist communities who are unable to pay for their bills,” says Salga president Thembi Nkadimeng.

INFOGRAPHIC: Lockdown restrictions: