In danger or not, all mayors may have bodyguards

Every mayor and municipal council speaker in South Africa is now eligible for council-funded bodyguards without any requirement to first determine whether there is any threat they must be guarded against.

The guards are considered “tools of the trade” that councils may extend to their officers, alongside calculators and letterheads.

About 400 functionaries are affected by the change.

Previously councils had to ask the South African Police Service for a threat and risk analysis before they were allowed to pay for mayoral bodyguards, under national legislation that sets maximum salaries and stipulates allowed fringe benefits for local government office bearers.

Such risk assessments are still required before other councillors may receive personal security. But on December 15 the local government minister, Des van Rooyen, published new regulations that specifically exclude “executive mayors, mayors or speakers” from the need for threat assessments.


Instead, as is the case with payment for parking spaces and toner cartridges, personal security for top local government leaders is now subject only to “concurrence” by the provincial head of local government, and general provisions on affordability and value for money.

The proclamation is retroactive to July 2017.

Van Rooyen’s office did not answer a question on why the assessment requirement was dropped.

The new notice, also for the first time, allows local governments to supply a laptop or tablet computer to part-time councillors. These were previously reserved for full-time councillors or part-timers at or above the level of committee chairperson.

In a third change to fringe benefits, the maximum monthly cellphone allowance for ordinary councillors will more than double, thanks to a flattening of tiers. Under previous rules a maximum R3 400 monthly allowance was reserved for the speaker and higher only in the large municipalities. For ordinary councillors and leaders of the smaller municipalities the maximum was set at R1 900. In terms of the December 15 rules, however, the R3 400 limit applies to all councillors regardless of rank or size of municipality.

There is an additional R300 a month for data bundles.

With the implementation of increases ranging between 4.5% and 6%, the smaller municipalities may now pay their mayors up to R723 541 in total remuneration before expenses, not counting mandatory special insurance against damages as a result of civil unrest or public disorder.

For the mayors of the larger municipalities, total pay tops out at just shy of R1.3-million. 

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Phillip De Wet
Guest Author

Related stories

The price of violence: R145-billion

The costs include expenditure on security, justice and health rather than on productive efforts, investment is driven away and psychological effects results in lower productivity

Can our police be trusted with their weapons?

COMMENT: Excessive force and lack of accountability characterise South Africa’s police force

Top cop’s state-funded luxury cars

Mpumalanga police commissioner Mondli Zuma has allegedly flouted regulations to purchase a flashy fleet.

Johannesburg cannot police its future

South Africa’s biggest city is ground zero for debates about the long-term effectiveness and constitutionality of militarised urban policing and how we imagine the post-Covid city

Female cops sent for rape counselling

Brigadier Sifiso Cele denies the rape allegations, saying that they are part of a smear campaign and that criminal charges should have been opened if the accusations were true

Mpumalanga top cop under investigation

Police deny allegations of a cover-up of Mondli Zuma’s accident in a state-owned luxury car
Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

More top stories

Shabnim Ismail bowls her way into the record books Down...

The night before Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) final, fiery South African fast bowler Shabnim Ismail lay awake pondering how...

Hawks make arrest in matric maths paper leak

Themba Daniel Shikwambana, who works at a printing company, was granted bail and is due to return to court in January

Andile Lungisa: Early parole for the house of truth

Disgraced Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa calls for a change of leadership in the ANC immediately after being released on parole

War of words at Zondo commission: ‘Grow up Mr Gordhan,...

The cross-examination of the public enterprises minister by Tom Moyane’s lawyers at the state capture inquiry went on well into overtime on Monday evening
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…