Budget impasse in Mogale City as DA boycotts council meeting

2017-07-01 13:25
The DA's John Moodey (Lisa Hnatowicz, Beeld)

The DA's John Moodey (Lisa Hnatowicz, Beeld)

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Cape Town - Mogale City Local Municipality in Gauteng had to shelve its annual budget vote on Friday, after the DA and its coalition partners boycotted the council meeting. 

While the West Rand ANC described the boycott as "scandalous", the DA claimed the ANC was set to ram through an illegitimate budget, and has called for new council elections. 

It's been a tumultuous few days in the municipality, which encompasses the world-famous Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. 

At the beginning of the week, the DA-led coalition - which includes the Freedom Front Plus, the Inkatha Freedom Party, and the EFF as a "voting partner" - had been set on tabling its own budget on Friday. 

But on Wednesday, the ANC surprisingly won back control of the municipality, and the ANC’s Patrick Lipudi was elected mayor. He is the council's former speaker. 

In a secret vote, Lipudi received 39 votes and the DA’s Michael Holenstein got 36. There were two spoilt ballots. 

DA hits back

The victory was hailed by President Jacob Zuma in his opening address at the ANC National Policy Conference. He mentioned it as an example of the ANC’s focus on regaining lost ground in Gauteng municipalities. 

But, on the same day that Zuma was speaking, the DA-lead coalition chose to boycott the vote on the budget now being proposed by the ANC, so that the council would not have a voting quorum.

DA Gauteng leader John Moodey said the budget and Integrated Development Plan that the ANC was planning to vote on was "illegitimate", as it had not been taken to the people of Mogale City for their input and consultation.

"The Mogale City Council must be dissolved and fresh elections must be held so that the people of Mogale City can elect a government that will deliver the change that they want to see," said Moodey in a statement on Friday.

"This is the only way to ensure that the ANC does not further corrode stability and loot municipal coffers."

But the ANC hit back on Saturday, saying the DA and its coalition partners’ absence from the budget vote illustrated a "lack of foresight and responsibility".

"The non-attendance by the DA/EFF coalition of the council session to decide the budget of Mogale City is clearly related to the fact that this inept coalition is unable to accept a democratic outcome," the West Rand ANC said in a statement. 

It is not yet known when the budget will again be tabled in council.   

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  politics

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