DURBAN - ZULULAND district municipality would fork out R436 000 to pay for 25 traditional leaders’ medical aid premiums for this financial year.
This was announced by the mayor Thulasizwe Buthelezi when launching the programme in Ulundi on Wednesday.
The mayor said Bonitas would be providing the health-care service to 25 amakhosi living in the district. Buthelezi said the amakhosi were part of the municipality and were playing a part in bringing services to the people, so the municipality felt it was important that they got quality health care.
“Today we launched the medical aid programme for 25 amakhosi who had applied to us. Our municipality will pay R436 000 for this financial year. Although we have 36 amakhosi in our district, only 25 came forward and said they wanted medical aid,” said the mayor.
Inkosi Thamsanqa Sibiya from uPongolo said he did not have medical aid, and that he was happy that the municipality would provide them with free, high-quality medical care from Bonitas.
Bonitas executive manager Pierre de Suza said the company was grateful to the municipality for opening the doors to provide health-care services to amakhosi. He said the cover would start immediately and amakhosi were free to go to any private hospital or doctor.
“We know the municipality has no obligation to provide us as amakhosi with the medical aid since we are not its employees. On behalf of amakhosi, I would like to thank the mayor and his entire team for this,” said Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who delivered the keynote address.
Before the event there were rumours that the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department was against it, but a spokesperson denied that and said the department had no comment on the decision.