Councillors say draft brings nothing new
The draft budget for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality was scoffed at yesterday by ANC councillors, who accused the DA of plagiarising their old fiscal plan. The 2017-2018 draft budget was presented at a joint sitting of the mayoral and budget and treasury committees yesterday.
The budget focuses heavily on the eradication of the bucket system, electrification of informal settlements, job creation and infrastructure investment.
If approved, about R40-million could be set aside to eradicate bucket toilets.
The biggest portion of the budget could go towards the Assistance to the Poor Programme, which is in line to receive R543-million. Some of items in the draft budget include: ý Housing delivery being allocated R683-million;
- Electricity and infrastructure being allocated R361-million;
- The Integrated Public Transport System being allocated R382-million;
- Wastewater treatment works being allocated R354-million; and
- R96-million being allocated for the construction of roads.
ANC councillor Rory Riordan said the draft budget was merely a duplication of the ANC’s ideas when they led the administration.
He labelled the document as disgraceful and said it was plagiarised.
“The DA never had a plan but borrowed from [former mayor] Danny Jordaan,” he said.
ANC caucus leader Bicks Ndoni said it was simply a “cut-and-paste” job.
“Our people were promised new ideas, we want to see new ideas,” he said.
But budget and treasury political head Retief Odendaal said the draft budget was incomplete and the final draft would be presented soon.
Human settlements political head Nqaba Bhanga defended the draft budget.
“We will change what was wrong but complement what was right,” he said.
The draft budget was not based on the DA’s input but what residents wanted.
“We must build institutional memory and develop plans that live beyond political terms of the administration,” he said.
Mayor Athol Trollip took a swipe at the ANC councillors, saying they were now critical of the draft budget they claimed was copied.
“I’m pleased to see that you are now rejecting your own document,” he said.
Trollip said the document was incomplete and it had been released prematurely.
EFF councillor Yoliswa Yako welcomed plans to eradicate the bucket system and create employment.