ANC’s failed adjustments budget good news for Joburg – Mashaba
Johannesburg – The ANC's failure to pass its City of Johannesburg adjustments budget for the 2019/20 financial year in the council this past week is a positive development for the residents of Johannesburg, former mayor and The People's Dialogue founder Herman Mashaba said on Sunday.
"I have no doubt that this was seen as an opportunity to reverse the progress made under the previous coalition government and to direct projects to politically connected individuals," he said.
Johannesburg's new mayor, Geoff Makhubo of the ANC, had already been "attributed with statements about the reversing of the gains of insourcing, which has benefited over 8 000 families of security guards and cleaners, and removed these lucrative contracts from the tenderpreneurs", Mashaba said.
In studying the adjustments budget that was voted down in council, it was alarming to see how many pro-poor projects aimed at delivering services to informal settlements were proposed for reduction in budget.
When the multi-party coalition came into office in 2016, it converted a meagre R30 million budget for informal settlement upgrades into a budget exceeding R300 million.
It was equally alarming to note the ANC’s failed effort to decrease funding for the Integrated Intelligence Operations Centre (IIOC), the integrated system facility to monitor crime and ensure rapid response to criminal incidents, Mashaba said.
The reduction in funding for two major sub-stations and for the replacement of the city’s water network similarly raised alarm bells that the ANC government was attempting to reverse the massive investment into infrastructure that was starting to improve basic service delivery.
"The fact that this adjustments budget was defeated in council is a victory for the residents of Johannesburg and a lesson to mayor Makhubo that running coalition governments is difficult.
"If a coalition is assembled for all the wrong reasons, and not the good of the people of Johannesburg, he will find it difficult to govern the city.
"The only relief that I find in the current situation is that the local government elections are a little more than one year away.
"The political party that I am working to establish, guided by the voices of countless South Africans over the past three months, will unseat the ANC in Johannesburg again," Mashaba said.
African News Agency (ANA)