Cape Town - The EFF has has accused the provincial government of underspending its budgets, with the aim of re-allocating the funds to the Provincial Revenue Fund.
EFF MPL Nosipho Makamba-Botya was contributing to the debate on the provincial Treasury’s R321.6 million budget allocation for the 2022/23 financial year.
“What is the purpose of allocating a budget, knowing very well that the core aim is for it to end up in the Provincial Revenue Fund, and not to be used to execute service delivery in communities?” he asked.
Rejecting the budget, Makamba-Botya said the province had a housing crisis.
He predicted that instead of money being spent to alleviate the crisis, there would be budget cuts in the provincial Human Settlements Department, with the rest of the money being channelled to the Provincial Revenue Fund.
In his speech on the budget allocation, Finance MEC David Maynier said effective local governance was one of the provincial Treasury’s four main strategic objectives.
He said that as such, the provincial Treasury continued to support effective local governance, working closely with vulnerable municipalities to manage risks and improve their financial stability in the Western Cape.
Maynier said a good example of this support was the Financial Recovery Plan for the Beaufort West municipality, which was divided into three phases.
He said the province anticipated that the municipality could achieve a cash-backed, funded budget position within three years, provided the measures outlined in the plan were successfully implemented.
While rejecting the budget, ANC MPL Nomi Nkondlo warned that the opposition would be following developments in Beaufort West closely.
“We will liaise with our national colleagues to ensure that the people of Beaufort West and not the DA benefit from this intervention,” she said.
Freedom Front Plus MPL Peter Marais meanwhile berated the rest of the opposition for constantly rejecting the provincial government’s budgets.
“Let us not elevate the rejection of budgets to a principle. Criticism should be constructive and creative.
“We need to break with tradition and enter a new ear of constructive engagement.”