New social media policy orders councillors to defend city’s reputation

ETHEKWINI Municipality’s newly introduced social media policy has been slammed by the Democratic Alliance as nothing more than an attempt to smother the opposition.

In a media statement on Tuesday, eThekwini councillor Hlengiwe Shozi said while his party did not reject a social media policy in principle, it believed the adopted policy was authritarian and would undermine and stiffle the work of councillors, in particular those in the opposition who had a mandate to oversee the governing body.

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“According to the policy, councillors are obliged to “defend the reputation” of the municipality. As an opposition it is not our job to defend the municipality, but to apply checks and balances on its performance in delivering the services to the people,” he said.

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Councillors who fail to comply with the policy are threatened with disciplinary action.

“This is laughable. This policy is clearly little more than an attempt to smother the opposition, who has up to now made sure that they account for all the looting that is currently taking place. The ANC is trying to oppress the fundamental right to freedom of speech entrenched in our Constitution and we will not allow it. The DA will never approve any policy that seeks to undermine the opposition. This policy violates our constitutional rights as well as our mandate and we will not approve it under any circumstances. We will not be intimidated or censored,” he said.



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