KZN Cogta MEC tells municipalities to reduce 'hefty' personal security costs

29 October 2019 - 15:14
KZN Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka has called on municipalities to cut their personal security bills.
Image: Cogta KZN Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka has called on municipalities to cut their personal security bills.

Sipho Hlomuka, KwaZulu-Natal’s MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta), has urged mayors to slash exorbitant personal security bills within their municipalities.

Hlomuka, who convened a meeting with 54 municipalities in Ulundi on Tuesday, also expressed concern about a R2.2bn debt to Eskom.

"Currently many municipalities incur hefty bills for the provision of security for elected representatives," he said. "While we note the importance of safety of public representatives, including officials - and it is not our desire to compromise it where real threats exist - the current practice is unsustainable.

"We believe that proper processes need to be followed without compromising the security of elected representatives."

In focusing on the growing debt owed to Eskom by municipalities, Hlomuka said he was also concerned about the increasing debt owed to municipalities by consumers, which now sits at R20.1bn.

"The monies owed to municipalities are also compromising their financial viability and their ability to render services to our communities.

"This has compromised the ability of municipalities to settle their debt to Eskom, which now sits at R2.2bn," said Hlomuka.

"Many of our mayors and municipal managers will be aware of the efforts we at Cogta have made to assist indebted municipalities with their payment plans.

"We are also actively assisting municipalities in their negotiations with Eskom and we have provided legal advice and assistance in several cases where this became necessary," said Hlomuka, adding that they had resolved that enforcement measures must be taken against defaulters.

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