The Democratic Alliance (DA) in eThekwini has vented its displeasure over the R70 million security bill earmarked for ANC-led municipality Councillors, SurgeZirc SA reports.
In a statement made available to SurgeZirc SA on Tuesday, the DA said it does not reckon with what it described as exorbitant spending of funds between July and August.
It was gathered the revelation was made by ANC Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, and equates to a staggering R280 million per year.
It is unlikely that this cost includes the excessive overtime that is being claimed and abused at Metro Police. Much of this overtime is attributed to the escorting and protecting of councilors.
Kaunda further admitted that risk assessments are not being done before security is allocated to councilors because of ‘capacity issues. This effectively means that numerous councilors have been allocated expensive security details with no proven threat against them.
“The reality is that what is often termed ‘political violence is a direct result of ANC factionalism and infighting. In essence, ratepayers are paying to protect ANC politicians from enemies within their own ranks. This is unsustainable and frankly not the public’s problem.
“While the ANC continues to prioritize the security of politicians, communities are being left to fend for themselves because Metro Police are being diverted to protect local councilors,” the statement reads.
According to the statement, the national arm of the DA has repeatedly called for the slashing of the VIP protection and security services budget, which currently sits at over R3 billion per year.
“Ordinary citizens are left defenseless in the face of hopeless policing whilst ANC politicians are ferried in blue light brigades and have their umbrellas held for them.
“eThekwini’s public purse cannot afford this reckless spending. The ANC must solve their own internal issues themselves and leave the rest of us out of it. Critically, risk and threat assessments must be properly conducted and the reduction of this spending must happen urgently,” the statement concludes.