NMB budget receives green light

2019-06-26 06:01
Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, and new MMC for Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture, Marlon Daniels.                Photo: KAILIN DANIELS

Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, and new MMC for Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture, Marlon Daniels. Photo: KAILIN DANIELS

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THE R12.6 billion 2019/2020 budget for the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro was approved by the majority of council members last week after a fifth sitting to table the budget.

This after the NMBM Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, had taken a decision to reshuffle his Mayoral Committee and appointed Councillor Marlon Daniels from the Patriotic Alliance as the member of the mayoral committee for economic development, tourism and agriculture.

Bobani revealed that Daniels’ appointment as MMC paved the way for the approval of the budget as 61 councillors were needed in order to pass the budget.

According to Bobani, the majority of funded projects within the budget were aimed at supporting development in the poorest areas of the city. “We said that the budget will be passed and it materialised. We are ready to move ahead and to ensure that the residents in the metro receive the services they need.

“I would like to thank all the councillors who have voted to approve the budget,” Bobani said.

Daniels said that he, along with other councillors, have recently received death threats to vote in favour of the budget.

Daniels vowed, before his appointment as MMC, that the budget, which have been passed, would not get the green light as certain issues within the northern areas should be addressed. He, however, voted in favour of the budget after his appointment as MMC.

The tariff for property rates tax will increase by 7.7%; water, sanitation and refuse by 7.5% each; and electricity by 13.04% (on average pending NERSA approval).

To this end, R29 million was allocated to acquire specialised vehicles and equipment in the fight against crime.

The budget allocated R200 million for human settlements, which will go towards the servicing of 2 000 housing sites and land acquisition to all qualifying residents.

In addition, Bobani allocated R27 million to electrify 1 297 RDP houses and R30 million to electrify 2 500 informal dwellings.

According to Daniels, the PA has always been in favour of the new coalition government.

Daniels added, “What pleases the PA is that we can stand tall considering the importance of being part of this coalition government.

“This position was already discussed in December last year and it’s nothing new.

“We can now say that we have a voice for the northern areas in the metro. I would like to thank the leadership for having confidence in the PA and we’re waiting for the other parties to come on board as well.”

The metro announced that Daniels would replace Noluthando Pink, who will now be taking up a new position as the safety and security MMC.

According to Bobani, the reshuffling of his mayoral committee has been undertaken to strengthen the coalition government and bring stability within the Municipality.

“It must be noted that all the parties involved share the same goal – to improve the lives of our people, especially those who have been previously disadvantaged or continue to be disadvantaged. We have decided to include the PA simply because we want to be an inclusive government, which will include all political parties,” Bobani said.


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