DURBAN- ETHEKWINI mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has disputed allegations that an ordinary councillor tipped to become the new deputy mayor, was given perks that were not due to her because she has not officially been elected to the position.
During an exco meeting on Tuesday, Kaunda made it clear that the deputy mayor post remained vacant until a formal election took place. This is expected to happen at the next full council meeting.
ANC councillor Diana Hoorzuk is tipped to become the new deputy mayor. It emerged recently that she was using perks normally reserved for a mayor or deputy mayor.
It emerged and was confirmed by the municipality that Hoorzuk was using council vehicles and had been provided with security.
The mayor's office had stated that Hoorzuk was a member of the executive committee and the chair of the finance and emergency services committee, and was therefore entitled to the benefits.
Hoorzuk was expected to be elected to the position at a meeting last month but it collapsed because ANC councillors held a long caucus meeting which resulted in the meeting failing to sit in the stipulated time.
Kaunda stressed that Hoorzuk was not using a car that was meant for the deputy mayor. He said the car, which is allocated to the deputy mayor, was parked off and would only be used by the deputy mayor once elected.
The revelations on the perks had raised concerns with opposition party councillors and officials in the South African Local Government Association.
The ANC also took exception to the accusation by the opposition parties that they had collapsed a meeting that was supposed to elect Hoorzuk to the position.
Chief whip and ANC councillor Sibongiseni Mkhize said his party did not collapse the meeting.