DA says izimbizo are a waste of council funds

2009-03-26 00:00

The DA in the Msunduzi Municipality has labelled izimbizo a waste of council funds, saying they provide little opportunity for residents to air their views.

Raising the motion at yesterday's full council sitting, DA councillor Nalini Atwaru said the structure of the izimbizo in the last financial year meant that very few queries were entertained and this had limited public participation.

Atwaru said that the participation of the public at the izimbizo had not led to changes or to adjustments in the budget.

The DA suggested that ward committee structures be used instead to get residents' feedback on the budget.

The opposition party said ward committees are empowered to hold community meetings to advise on council issues, including the budget.

"The preparation of the [2009/2010] council budget requires meaningful public participation and not political posturing," said Atwaru.

DA councillor Roger Ashe said that only a few people get to speak at the izimbizo and that is not consultation - it is telling people what the council will do.

IFP councillor Dolo Zondi supported the motion, saying that there is overspending in the municipality and the council needs to economise. The motion, however, fell away after the ANC voted against it. The ANC said that the process of izimbizo is an exercise of taking local government to the people.

Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo said that the process of izimbizo was accepted by the council, with the DA and IFP present.

Said ANC councillor Pops Chetty, "I am surprised that they [DA] say this is not effective. The council's IDP [Integrated Development Plan] is based on such a process."

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