DA rejects city’s farm unit proposal

Councillor Nicole Graham

ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY’S plan to establish an Agro Ecology Unit under Community and Emergency Services has been rejected by the Democratic Allicance because it will cost ratepayers an additional R36-million.

In a media statement released on Wednesday, Councillor Nicole Graham said the report received by the Executive Committee clearly indicated that agriculture was not a municipal function nor  a funded mandate for the city.

ALSO READ: Council agrees to purchase two chicken farms

“The DA believes that is should be funded by the provincial and national government, and not become a further burden for city funds. The Parks department assisting local communities with food gardens is feasible, but this is a clear departure from the municipality’s actual role,” she said.

Graham said the  staff organogram for the unit consisted of 151 staff members, including a departmental head who would earn R 1,7 million rand per year.  “This is completely outrageous,” she said.

The unit would also include a Farming Services Division, which, she said, would presumably accommodate the farms that the city bought from Rainbow Chicken last year.  She said questions from the DA on whether this was the plan for the Rainbow Chicken farm were not answered in Council. “If this is the case, the purchase of these farms and the staff complement to managing them will cost ratepayers over R50 million rand,” she said.



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Wanda Daly

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