Cape Town mayor raises concern over capital under-expenditure

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Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis took to the streets of Khayelitsha and Phoenix, where he inspected the sewage problems in the areas.
Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis took to the streets of Khayelitsha and Phoenix, where he inspected the sewage problems in the areas.
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  • Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says he has become aware of "worrying capital under-expenditure".
  • Hill-Lewis was addressing a full council sitting on Thursday.
  • On his first day in office after being sworn in last week, he visited the Zandvliet wastewater treatment plant and areas in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, and Phoenix in Milnerton, that have been affected by sewage spills.

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has raised concerns about the City of Cape Town's capital expenditure.

Hill-Lewis was addressing a full council sitting on Thursday.

"In reading the Section 71 financial report at midnight one night this week, I became aware of worrying capital under-expenditure. Significant additional infrastructure investment is absolutely critical to the growth of the City, and budgets must be spent," he said.

The report cited by Hill-Lewis was part of a recent budget briefing he had with City officials. 

He added there was a chunk of this figure which could be explained because of the way National Treasury budgets for the MyCiTi bus rollout grants.

"This is fine and will be corrected in the adjustments budget. But there are also some other delays which are a source of concern," Hill-Lewis said.

READ | EFF causes ruckus during City of Cape Town council sitting

He added that he would be bringing this to the attention of council and that he had a commitment that he would seek further detailed explanation for any avoidable delays in capital programmes.

On his first day in office after being sworn in last week, he visited the Zandvliet wastewater treatment plant and areas in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, and Phoenix in Milnerton, that have been affected by sewage spills.

"I know there are other areas of the City also affected, and in some cases worse than those I visited last week. I intend to also visit Wallacedene, Wesbank and Montrose Park in Mitchells Plain. I am grateful to councillors Sawant, Witbooi, Plaatjes and others for being in constant contact with me about this," he said.

The ANC's Charlotte Heynes urged Hill-Lewis to also prioritise areas like Mfuleni and informal settlements experiencing sewage spills.

"I would urge the mayor to look into the Mfuleni old apartheid infrastructure which has been rejected in this council," she said.

READ MORE | Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis tackles sewage problems in townships

EFF chief whip Banzi Dambuza said the mayor's visits to areas experiencing sewage spills was a publicity stunt.

"There is no proper plan from this administration; we have stayed in those areas where there are sewage spills. There are areas such as Delft, Mfuleni, where there are sewage problems as well," he said.

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