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Cape Town - The ANC in the Cape Town city council has again demanded an apology from mayor Patricia de Lille for “deceiving and misleading” the public in relation to the city’s finances.
At a press conference called during lunch at Wednesday’s council meeting, ANC chief whip Xolani Sotashe again accused the city of fiscal dumping and underspending on the budget for the 2012/13 financial year.
Sotashe said that unlike the previous time when they had accused the city of underspending, they were going to present more proof.
“Today we have been required to approve an amount of R632 million that will be used to pay for the compensation and scrapping allowance for taxis in the city’s transport, road and stormwater budget.
“This amount of R632 million has been reported as the money that was spent in the 2012/2013 financial year, so the question would be, where is the money coming from now and why is it being approved in the 2013/2014 financial year?”
Sotashe also accused the DA of “creative accounting”, adding that the DA had opened a separate account outside of the city for this money and they were now expecting the council to sign off on it.
He said they condemned this “fiscal dumping” because it bordered on being criminal.
“What we have been arguing as the ANC is that the city did not spend the 92.9 percent of its budget as the mayor claimed at a recent press conference, but in fact, is guilty of hiding money away and lying blatantly to the press and the public to make themselves look better as the DA.”
Sotashe said the Provincial Gazette No 71/52 showed that the city had spent only 85.3 percent of its budget in the 2012/2013 financial year.
De Lille said in response: “I don’t know how we can be expected to apologise for lying when the people who ask us to apologise are liars themselves.”
Deputy mayor Ian Neilson explained that the figures in the Provincial Gazette were not the final figures. He said the final figures (which will be handed over to the auditor-general at the end of this week) would reflect that the city has spent 92.9 percent of the budget.
Neilson said there had been no fiscal dumping either but that the city had kept the money that Sotashe was referring to in a separate interest-bearing account which was on the city’s books.
The money is to be used to as part of the MyCiTi business plan to pay vehicle operating companies who will be contracted to the city for a period of 12 years.