Lukhanji Municipality foots medical bill for mayor

In a recent response Response re Lukhanji Mayor to a question posed to the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa, the office of the MEC justified the appropriation of R200 000 by the Lukhanji Local Municipality to pay for the medical expenses of its mayor Nozibele Makanda who was injured in a car accident while on duty returning from a conference.

The department justified the payment due to the life threatening circumstances and further acknowledged that the decision was made under extreme duress.

Although the payment was made in line with the Municipal Finance Management Act which does allow for unforeseen and unavoidable expenses in cases of an emergency, the Democratic Alliance finds it hard to believe that the mayor, an executive member and public servant did not have any medical cover supplied to her by the municipality as stated in the response.

Surely a mayor employed by the government qualifies for medical cover as do other employees in the public service.

According to the Remuneration of Public Officer Bearers Act Section 9 (1) “An office bearer shall be entitled to be a member of a medical aid scheme duly established and registered in terms of a law and such office bearer shall be entitled to receive such medical aid benefits from the medical aid scheme to which he or she contributes as may be determined by the rules of such medical aid scheme”.

Therefore the DA finds it untenable that R200 000 was allocated by the municipality to fit the medical expenses of its mayor because she had no medical cover which points to a serious shortfall by the mayor as well as the municipality in the administration of its expenses.

The DA believes that fruitless and wasteful expenditure at municipal level cannot continue to be overlooked while taxpayers bear the brunt of it by paying tax to foot the bills of others. — Veliswa Mvenya MPL, Shadow MEC for Local Government