Mangaung budget heavily criticised

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Opposition parties in the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality rejected executive mayor Olly Mlamleli’s tabling of the 2017/2018 budget yesterday at the Bram Fischer Building in Bloemfontein.

Reasons cited by the Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Freedom Front Plus (FF+) were mainly based on the metro’s failure to perform on service delivery issues, growing municipal debt, last year’s financial report by the Auditor-General on the metro as well as “prioritising of luxuries rather than essential services”.

DA councillor, David Masoeu, criticised the ANC government heavily, saying there is talk of radical economic transformation and yet the ANC-led metro is failing Mangaung residents on service delivery issues.

“You just need to take a look at all the illegal dumping sites in the city to see how the metro is failing to collect rubbish at people’s homes. And then they want to talk to us about radical economic transformation,” Masoeu said.

Meanwhile, the EFF’s Tsholo Ranchobe stated that the tabling of the budget had not followed due processes as various committees had been unable to meet during the week due to the strike.

“We as the EFF reject both the agenda and the budget because committees that are expected to carry out these matters mentioned in the budget were neither consulted nor were they able to meet, so how did the mayor compile this budget without their inputs?” Ranchobe said as he posed this question to the Council’s Speaker, Mxolisi Siyonzana.

Despite the antagonism of opposition parties, the African National Congress had the last laugh as they outnumbered other parties in a vote and approved Mlamleli’s budget for the stated period.

Key issues to be addressed as mentioned in the budget included spatial development, the eradication of bucket systems in various areas in the metro as well as the establishment of ventures that will contribute positively to the environment.

The total revenue budget is projected at R7.2 billion for the 2017/2018 financial year (including capital grants), representing a decrease in revenue of R336.2 million (which shows a reduction of 4.44% on the 2016/2017 adjustment budget of R7.5 billion). – Pulane Choane
pulane@centralmediagroup.co.za