Enoch Mgijima local municipality’s financial status was considered by cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Fikile Xasa before approving payment of 10 full-time councillors, instead of two.
The municipality, according to the provincial gazette of April this year, should just have two councillors.
Mayor Lindiwe Gunuza Nkwentsha and council speaker Mzoxolo Peter took their case to Xasa and the municipality received permission to employ an additional eight.
In March this year, Xasa wrote to Nkwentsha informing her that the municipality should stop paying the salaries of the eight other councillors it employed full-time.
“Initially the MEC did not approve of all of them but after considering a number of factors and the financial muscle of the municipality, he approved all mayoral committee members to be designated full-time,” Cogta spokesman Mamnkeli Ngam said.
With Xasa only approving the councillors’ full-time employ in November, Ngam said the MEC had requested a report from the municipality on how it intended to recover money it paid to the councillors before his approval.
“Thus far the municipality has not yet responded and a reminder to this effect has been sent to the municipality,” he said. In a letter of intention to invoke Section 139(1)(a) to the municipality, Xasa said the expenditure was irregular. The Daily Dispatch has a copy of the letter.
“I demanded your good office to furnish my office with a plan on how the municipality is going to recover the money [remuneration] that was paid to the mentioned councillors who were remunerated as full-time prior to my approval,” Xasa said.