The Guard

The Truth On Board

District Chief Whip’s office is illegal

By Emily Setona

CLARENS – During the tabling of the Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality’s 2023/24 budget speech the district councillors from the various political parties and local municipalities discuss the issue of the establishment of staff.

Councillors from different political parties expressed their views about the way the TMDM hires its staff because certain illegal practices go unreported. While addressing the speaker Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Alison Oates stated that regarding the office of the chief whip of TMDM the speaker was supposed to provide a written report detailing how the district intends to explain why the chief whip is receiving a remuneration package of a full – time chief whip when the council hasn’t yet resolved the issue of her office being illegal.

“According to legislature that is already 12 months old, the TMDM does not qualify to have a full – time chief whip office because the TMDM council does not have the number, which is 40 councillors that are legislatively required to be able to have this office.” Oates said.

Maluti – a – Phofung (MAP) chief whip Moeketsi Lebesa went on further to state that the powers and functions of the chief whip is to facilitate interaction between executive and legislative functions. To coordinate municipal chief whips and political party whips. “My question to council is how the chief whip will perform these functions if it is not a full – time office, the executive mayor must write a letter to the MEC of COGTA (Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs) so that the district can apply for a waiver,” Lebesa said.

Eric Motloung from the DA said that the district cannot have a chief whip because it has less than 40 councillors on district level, but he supports the notion that for the vastness of the district the executive mayor can indeed apply for a waiver.

Another matter that was raised was the absence of chief whip Lindiwe Makhalema to four consecutive council meetings and that the speaker hasn’t offered a written report regarding this matter. Oates stated that the persistence of the district to carry on with not following proper procedures is unlawful, because legislature is clear on the course of action.

In response to this the district speaker Thabo Mokoena stated that the course of action will be a fine of 10 percent on the salary, failing which the said councillor will have to accept an accruement of 5 percent interest.