No new cars for Zuma and Ngxonono in the 2018/19 budget

Ms Thandi Ngxonono (executive mayors) tabled the budget for 2018/18.

HIGHVELD – Ms Thandi Ngxonono, executive mayor of the Govan Mbeki Municipality, tabled the 2018/19 budget that was passed during a special council meeting on Friday, 29 June.

This came after the ANC did not form a quorum at the previous council meeting to pass the budget after its nine councillors were protesting and the opposition parties staged a walk out.

About 27 councillors were left in chamber and Mr Nhlakanipho Zuma, speaker, continued with the meeting and claimed they formed the quorum.

However Ms Refilwe Mtsweni, Premier, addressed locals in eMbalenhle and said the budget must go back to Council to be passed properly.

She announced that Ms Ngxonono and Mr Zuma’s cars should not be included in the revised budget.

Ms Ngxonono announced that tariffs will be increased as follows effective from 1 July:

– All property taxes as per the 2017/2018 tariff book increase by 5,2 per cent;

– Sewerage tariffs increase by 12.2 per cent;

– Refuse tariffs increase by 5.2 per cent;

– Water tariffs increase by 12.2 per cent;

– Electricity increases with 6.84 per cent in line with Nersa;

– Deposits increase with 5.2 per cent;

– Miscellaneous tariffs increase by 5.2 per cent.

All tariffs exclude VAT, except in the case of assessment rates that are zero-rate.

She said the budget was reduced to reflect a surplus and as a result the expenditure budget was further cut with R232 million, from R1.963 billion to R 1.741 billion.

The DA opposed the budget and said that although they are satisfied that luxury enriching items such as the mayor and speaker’s cars (to the value of R900 000 and R700 000 respectively) have been frozen until the consideration of the adjustment budget and that the outcome of public participation was finally considered after having been blatantly ignored previously, the proposed budget remains a document of severe concern.

Ms Ciska Jordaan, DA Caucus Leader, said besides being disappointed that unjustified and hefty tariff increases would go ahead, once again the council will resort to failed

or non-implemented turnaround strategy.

“Upon turnaround strategy in almost every single ill-led and mal-administered department, it appears that the budget simply will result in being unable to deliver services to the residents of Govan Mbeki.

“Furthermore, the following critical points remain true to the proposed budget, though the deficit has decreased, it remains at approximately R160-m, while once again there is

no realistic foreseeable solution towards compensating for it.

“The DA maintains that the budget is still not based on the current trend of generating revenue and the expenditure of the municipality, but rather on the previous budget.

“Electricity and water losses, which the council is painfully aware of, are not included in the budget, making expected income and expenditure also unrealistic and improbable.

“Compiling and talking about turnaround strategies seems to be an immense waste of time when action is not taken.

“The municipality will have no resources to work with, turnaround strategies are never implemented, and MPAC items and resolutions relating to MPAC items are either not presented to the council, or implemented after resolution.

“Repairs and maintenance remains at an undesirable seven per cent .

“The budget cannot be funded without revenue.”

She said the DA is appalled by the deceit and the trickery of the ruling party and the lengths that it will go to, to continue deceiving the people of Govan Mbeki Municipality.

The DA argued the presence of Ms Ngxonono is compromising the meeting, because a case was opened against her for allegedly assaulting an official.

“She will not do this community any justice by presiding over this meeting which is already reeking with the internal quarrels of the ANC – and will contravene the oath of office that she has taken, that we have all taken which reads that “[we] will faithfully and impartially carry out the functions, powers, authorities and discretions vested in [us] under the Local Government Act 1993 or any other Act to the best of [our] ability and judgment”.

“May I remind the council that this oath was taken in the presence of a member of the court, members of the community and in the presence of God.

“The Executive Mayor should take a leave of absence or be suspended until the law has taken its course in proving her apparent innocence or expected guilt as she cannot act impartial in her duties until the matter has been finalised.”

IDP meeting: Residents reject proposed budget

  AUTHOR
Sifiso Mathebula
Journalist

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