DA rejects budget
By Nozipho Ntshingila
THE DA has rejected the Executive Mayor’s Draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) at today’s specialcouncil special meeting saying it was not pro-poor.
“In a metro which has the highest rate of unemployment, it is a shame that we cannot create an environment where we can create jobs for our people,” DA caucus leader, Councillor Retief Odendaal said.
“We need a pro-poor budget that will stimulate economic growth”.
Odendaal proposed that the metro develops a savings report on how to monitor savings as the DA felt that money was being wasted on unnecessary expenditure, while the mayor talks about austerity measures.
Odendaalsaid that the metro does not treat budget with the respect that it deserves, saying that over the past four years that he has been a DA Councillor he has not witnessed much achievements (by the metro) despite there being an annual budget that continues to be overspent. He made reference to the Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) that continues to be allocated a budget that gets overspent every year, yet the buses are still not on the road.
He also said that the DA has time and again showed that they want to work together with government in moving the city forward. However the ANC continues to reject working with the opposition parties, acting like a government that knows it all.
“I feel that this is a mediocre budget. I cannot go out to the public in good faith and say that this is a good budget because it is not, therefore it should be treated with the contempt that it deserves” he added.
Budget and Treasury PR Councillor of the DA, Angelo Dashwood echoed Odendaal’s comments, saying that he has a reason to believe that there is a possibility that y that the IPTS will overspend on the budget again.
He added that the metro should reduce electricity theft in order to reduce electricity costs.
“The DA rejects this budget as it is not cash-back,” Dashwod said.
Another DA councillor said he would like to see more done in the orthern areas, saying that they get inconvenienced by the tripping electricity. He asked for old age homes to be prioritised in the budget as they are in a dilapidated state. He also urged for the culture of recycling to be promoted in the metro.
COPE Councillor Mongameli Bobani noted the budget moving forward with the hope that the executive mayor will afford council the opportunity to explore the budget further before they could find themselves outside engaging with the media about it.
ANC Councillor Jodwana refuted the DA standpoint saying that it showed lack of commitment in moving the metro forward as they were fault-finding instead of sharing ideas on solutions as to how the metro can minimise the highest rate of unemployment that it is faced with.
“We cannot allow a situation where the DA can grandstand that nothing has been achieved by the metro when the ANC government has ensured great development programmes in communities such as Soweto-on-Sea and I can testify to that as I am a resident of Soweto-on-Sea myself” he said.
“History is on our side that we are for the poor and we have delivered to the poor”.
He also said that they were not saying that the budget is perfect, otherwise they would have gone ahead and implemented it without subjecting it to council, and all they ask is for cto note the budget and work together with government to move the city forward.
Councillor Fumanekile Desi of the ANC lashed at the DA for having failed to pass a single budget since 1994. He asked the councillor that said he’d like to see more done in the northern areas how he could expect a miracle to happen in those Northern areas when he joined a political party that has never passed a budget.