The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) says the new perks for Councillors, Speakers and Mayors are a waste of tax-payers money.

Samwu says the perks include bodyguards for Mayors and Speakers and a cell phone allowance for all Councillors. The union adds that the money should be used to increase salaries for municipal workers.

Samwu spokesperson, Papikie Mohale says municipal workers are also forced to work unpaid extended hours in their offices because they have not been provided with laptops.

“We believe that this is a way of wasting money. It is a waste of resources which could have otherwise been redirected towards service delivery or the better remuneration of municipal workers. This benefit on its own is problematic for us because Councillors have become notorious for not returning calls from community members when they call reporting issues of service delivery. This is a way of increasing their salaries.”