Durban councillors 'dodged HIV testing'

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

At least 150 of the 200 councillors in the eThekwini municipality have come under fire for "not leading by example" because they allegedly dodged last year's HIV test initiative organised by the speaker, James Nxumalo.

Nxumalo revealed this when he addressed speakers from different provinces and municipalities in Durban yesterday during the KwaZulu-Natal Speaker's Forum launch.

He said councillors should lead by example and practise what they preach.

"Last year, I arranged for councillors to undergo HIV tests so that people would understand the importance of knowing their status. It was very disappointing that only 50 accepted the challenge."

Nxumalo also challenged his colleagues in council to seek expert counselling.

"Councillors need a lot of counselling because they are under extreme stress and as a result they fail to perform.

"That is why you have people toyi-toying against councillors, accusing them of failing to deliver. It is attributed to the stress," he said.

Nxumalo has also challenged new councillors to undergo training after being elected so that they are not "in the dark about their duties".

"When you take charge of a position, it can take you a year before you know where, what, and how to find which offices or department, which is a big challenge. It is therefore important that councillors are trained so that they know what is expected of them," he said.