southafricalogoBL Premium reports that in a bid to tackle the culture of nonpayment to municipalities, a government department has proposed extending to all political office bearers and public servants a law that provides for docking of pay of councillors and staff indebted for rates and services.  

Recently urging consumers to pay up, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that while nonpayment for municipal and other services had its place in the apartheid era to mobilise communities against an unjust system it "no longer has a place in present-day SA".  As one of the initiatives to address a culture of nonpayment in municipalities, the Department of Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs (Cogta) looked at the Municipal Systems Act, which prohibits councillors from being in arrears to municipalities for more than three months.  It empowers local authorities to deduct outstanding amounts from their staff members' salaries.  In a presentation in parliament, the department recommended extending docking of salaries to “officials of all organs of state and political office bearers”.  SA Local Government Association (Salga) president Thembi Nkadimeng said the organisation supported the department’s proposal for an extension of the provision in the Municipal Systems Act.  She said executives and political leadership at provincial and national levels should all be included as well as all employees of the government and state-owned enterprises.

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