Metro’s budget presented to council tomorrow

2015-06-17 06:00

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OPPOSITION parties have expressed great displeasure as the IDP and the metro’s budget review was delayed once again at a special council meeting last week.

Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Danny Jordaan said he could not yet table the budget for final adoption but said he was extremely happy with the progress thus far.

Jordaan said that he would be able to present the budget to council tomorrow (Thursday) after a thorough review.

This was the third special council meeting at which Jordaan was unable to table the revised budget. On Thursday, June 6, in a council meeting at the Uitenhage Indoor Sports Centre, Jordaan delayed tabling the reviewed budget saying he, together with his officials, needed more time to cut the budget correctly and prioritize appropriately. Jordaan promised that he would finalise a revised draft of the budget by the end of that week. Last week, however, Jordaan said he needed one more week.

Opposition parties said this was disappointing to hear as service delivery was being hampered by the delays.

UDM leader Mongameli Bobani, said this showed that work had not yet been done and displayed weaknesses within the leadership of the ANC.

“No matter what, even if you are appointed today, the budget is supposed to be finalised. Jordaan cannot furnish us with excuses at every council meeting. The budget and the IDP needs to be finalised and we at council also need to familiarise ourselves with the budget. When will this happen? We are in the next financial year and our budget was rejected because of the R400 million deficit. We have had break upon breaks,” said Bobani.

DA councillor Angelo Dashwood said the major delays come from several mayoral changes. “We have had no budget meeting for months now, so while it’s not surprising that he would delay tabling the budget it is disappointing.”

Dashwood said the challenge with the budget came in March this year when the treasury department rejected the budget due to a deficit. “With every new mayor we have to wait for 6 weeks for projects to be approved and it’s been the case for years now; everything just freezes. A clear example is that we have had no progress in debt collection,” said Dashwood.

Dashwood said the provincial treasury department came with their team earlier this year after the budget had been rejected to cut expenditure and personnel. “Treasury has now taken enough money for a cash reserve and a surplus for the budget which will go a long way as the city budget was forced to tap into its cash reserves to keep afloat.” – LIZEKA TANDWA

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