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By Stephen Tau


KZN Salga defends councillors who can’t read or write

According to Salga, 50% of new councillors reported to having a post-matric qualification.

The South African Local Government Association (Salga) in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) says formal education is not a prerequisite to become a councillor, but the ability to read and write.

This in the wake of reports which suggested that some 300 councillors in KZN can’t read or write.

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The issue of poor service delivery in various municipalities across the country has been a major talking point for some time now and it was not surprising that the news about the KZN councillors not being able to either not read or write had many talking.


According to Salga provincial chair Thami Ntuli, the reports, which made headlines for the better part of this week, were factually incorrect.

“This was not an audit, but a survey which was conducted within the three months of councillors joining municipalities after the elections.

“It is important to note that 70% of the councillors were new and over 50% of them reported to having a post-matric qualification,” Ntuli said.

Ntuli stressed that the ability to read and write was crucial for effective representation and public trust.

READ MORE: Voice note triggers calls for increased security for KZN councillors

He said it was interesting that the survey by the provincial Department of Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) was conducted electronically via email, filled out and returned by over 80% of councillors without any assistance.

“This means such councillors voluntarily read and filled in the survey because they wanted Cogta to dedicate resources to their development and they did not imagine that their resources would be misinterpreted so blatantly.

“As Salga we believe that good governance is not solely dependent on political will, but it requires skilled and competent councillors who can win the trust of ratepayers hence we emphasize the importance of skills, the ability to reason soundly and a commitment to the common good,” Ntuli added.

Meanwhile, several parts of the country have since the start of this year been gripped by violent service delivery protests.