DA-led Tshwane coalition passes R44.5bn operating budget, R2.35bn capital investment with ANC support

The Tshwane council yesterday successfully passed a proposed budget for 2023/2024. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

The Tshwane council yesterday successfully passed a proposed budget for 2023/2024. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 1, 2023


Pretoria - The City of Tshwane has successfully passed a proposed budget for 2023/2024, consisting of an operating budget of R44.5 billion and capital investment of R2.35bn despite stinging criticism by opposition parties that it was “grossly imperfect and imbalanced”.

The budget was delivered last week by MMC for finance, Peter Sutton, and was debated yesterday during a special council meeting at Tshwane House council chamber.

ANC councillor France Boshielo said Tshwane residents have not received decent service for the past seven years under the DA-led coalition.

“The budget that has been delivered is grossly imperfect and imbalanced. We are subjected to a lip service budget which will not significantly change the living condition of our people. The MMC missed an opportunity to use the capital investment of R2.3bn to allocate money to capital projects that will make a significant impact towards improving the safety, health and socio-economic condition of the people,” he said.

According to Boshielo, the only positive budget allocation was an amount of R285 million for the relocation of Mamelodi flood victims and the R88m for water installations in the township. The ANC, however, supported the budget that was passed with 155 councillors in favour of it. The EFF registered a dissenting vote.

Another ANC councillor, Mpho Lewele, berated the multiparty coalition government for not caring about the lives of black people, especially in the wake of 23 deaths in Hammanskraal amid the cholera outbreak.

He expressed disappointment with the budget, saying that if the ANC was still in charge of the municipal administration it would have done a far better job in drafting a people-focused budget.

“In reality, there is no interest by this government to service townships. We come here to rubber-stamp their mediocrity and feed into the budget as well,” he said.

According to him, the proposed budget failed to address pressing issues affecting the municipality, such as the rising unemployment and the failure to deliver basic services in townships.

Lewele also decried “a killer syndrome called nyaope” that he attributed to vandalism and destruction of the infrastructure in Tshwane.

GOOD Party councillor Sarah Mabotsa shared the sentiment that people in the townships were kept at arm’s length when it came to basic services. She cited the fact that township folk were disconnected from wi-fi internet services.

“People in the township don’t have access to the internet,” she said.

Mabotsa also raised the issue of incorrect billing, saying it continues to be problematic to the city.

“The city came up with Tshwane Re a Tima (campaign) whereas the issue of billing has not been solved,” she said.

ActionSA’s Kgosietsile Jairus Kgosiemang expressed support for the budget, saying it captured the issue of Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant, which was important to the party.

He said while the budget was not “the best of the best”, it represented the citizens of Tshwane.

He acknowledged that all service delivery priorities his party wanted addressed could not be accommodated. For example, he cited the insourcing of security guards as “something that needs to be done”.

EFF chief whip Godwin Ratikwane lashed out at the multiparty coalition government for neglecting service delivery in townships.

“The streets of Mamelodi, as we speak, are dirty … but when you go to affluent areas it is a different case,” he said.

Sutton welcomed criticisms and concerns of councillors, adding that the issue raised with regard to Hammanskraal water quality was very important to the coalition government.

He also conceded that the budget was not perfect and infrastructure needed to be protected against vandalism.

He said the city needed to do more to fight poverty and that “ideally” the city needed capital investment for that course.

Executive mayor Cilliers Brink said the municipality was likely to consider an option of appointing an external implementing agent to take over a stalled project to upgrade Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant.

Eight months ago the city fired the previous contractor for abandoning the project and it is yet to appoint a new contractor to restart work to the capacitate treatment plant, which has been blamed for dirty water supplied to Hammanskraal residents.

The plant lacked capacity to purify waste water, resulting in the sludge being discharged into the Apies River.

The Apies River, in turn, supplied water to Temba water treatment plant, used for purifying water for residents.

Pretoria News