City spends only half maintenance budget as services crumble

2012-11-26 00:00

DESPITE the appalling state of the city, Msunduzi Municipality underspent its R26 million maintenance budget by about 50%.

Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said underspending could be attributed to delays in municipal procurement processes.

But members of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) were not impressed, saying that the underspening happened while residents were continually complaining about lack of service delivery.

“Why are you not using the money that has been budgeted for?,” asked ANC councillor Sipho Madonda during the MPAC meeting last week.

Madonda said it didn’t make sense to budget money for much-needed services and have the administration not spending the funds.

DA Chief Whip, Roger Ashe said it was ludicrous that the municipality had only spent half of the maintenance budget when there were so many things that needed regular maintenance in the city.

“We have so many potholes, leaking pipes and unmarked streets but we have money that is not being used by officials,” said Ashe.

He said there were leaking water pipes in Alexandra Park and all that was required was a plumber, because there was money to pay for such services.

He said the condition of swimming pools was appalling, but the municipality had not put the budgeted maintenance money to good use.

Ashe pointed out that the Olympia, Woodlands, Eastwood, Sobantu and Buchanan swimming pools needed proper maintenance.

Attention needed to be given to leaking roofs, sewer blockages, replacement of manhole covers, chlorinators were not functioning, and the list goes on.

Ashe later told The Witness that he would not be surprised if this money is diverted to other things next year during the mid-year budget review.

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