The Democratic Alliance welcomes the decision of the Eastern Cape Legislature that an ex-gratia payment totalling R881 440 to returning members of the provincial House of Traditional Leaders not be approved. We also support the recommendation that the money which was set aside for this payment be re-directed to other priorities of the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs.
The practices and customs of traditional leadership play a huge role and must be encouraged, because of their contribution to building the fabric of this country.
However, there is no legal or legislative basis to pay current members ex gratia “gratuities”. The intention of cabinet to want to pay non-returning members this sum was to cover future living costs. To still want to pay members who in fact returned for another term in the House of Traditional Leaders is unacceptable. All the members who were intended to be paid returned for a new legislative term, bar one who is deceased.
It is disturbing that this amount was not provided for in the department’s budget.
Due to the ever challenging financial constraints experienced by the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs this R881 million must be used for more urgent service delivery needs to the population of this province.
For further information, please contact Dacre Haddon, MPL on 0796943788