Ward Committee members who bunk meetings must be fired

By Lucas Tala, DA councillor at Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality:

Today the DA has written to the Speaker of Elias Motsoaledi Municipality, Thogo Mahlangu, requesting her to take action against a Saaiplaas ward 16 ward committee member, who has failed to attend a single ward committee meeting for almost seven months, despite being paid a monthly stipend to do so.

The requirement that Ward Committee members attended meetings and organise meetings is outlined in the code of conduct for ward committee members approved by South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

According to the handbook for ward committee members, if a member fails to attend three consecutive scheduled meetings in the ward, without any prior apology, or fails to fulfil her / his duties, a report should be submitted to the council and the member must be removed with immediate effect.

In this regard, the Speaker of Elias Motsoaledi has failed to identify that this member has been absent from all the meetings this year and has failed to initiate any processes to stop her monthly stipend with immediate effect.

It has been alleged to the DA that the ward committee member has relocated provinces, and is now working in Pretoria permanently.

It is clear that this ward committee member has derelicted her duties in terms of the Municipal System’s Act, the Speaker has failed to realise this and take action, and therefore the Speaker now has no choice but to fire the committee member with immediate effect.

All the services has been halted by the ward committee member’s absenteeism and the residents are not being informed about the services in their areas.

Therefore a new ward committee member must be elected with immediate effect.

The DA requested the Speaker further to summon this ward committee member to the Council’s Ethics committee to recoup taxpayer’s money paid to her as her monthly stipend.