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Oudtshoorn Municipal Councillors Turn Down Proposed Salary Increases

Oudtshoorn, 12 September 2023During an ordinary council meeting held on 06 September 2023, the Greater Oudtshoorn Municipal Council made a bold decision. The discussion centered around the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act, 1998, specifically focusing on determining upper salary limits for council members, as outlined in the Government Gazette No. 49142 dated August 18, 2023.

Council voted against accepting the proposed salary increase for councillors, a decision that reflects their commitment to responsible fiscal management. They also passed resolutions to communicate this choice to Hon. AW Bredell, the MEC of Local Government, Environmental Affairs, and Development Planning. This decision sends a clear message that the council is putting the interests of the community first.

However, the council accepted the “tools of trade” and capacity building/training provisions outlined in the Government Gazette. It’s a strategic move to ensure council members are well-equipped to serve the community effectively.

The Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act, 1998, plays a significant role here, mandating the determination of upper limits for salaries, allowances, and benefits for council members. The Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality took their responsibility seriously, conducting a thorough review of the implications before reaching their decision.

On 21 August 2023, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) distributed a circular to municipalities across the country, notifying them about the determination of upper limits for salaries, allowances, and benefits. This circular set the stage for the intense discussion that followed in the Greater Oudtshoorn council meeting.

The Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Office Bearers is entrusted with making recommendations on salaries, allowances, benefits, and the essential resources (tools of trade) required by Public Office Bearers to excel in their roles.

The Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality is steadfast in its commitment to budgetary responsibility and ensuring the financial sustainability of the municipality.