OPINION

Why we opposed DA municipal budgets - ANC WCape

Faiez Jacobs says opposition determined to hold ruling party to account

ANC PROMISES TO REPRESENT INTERESTS OF COMMUNITIES AND HOLD DA TO ACCOUNT

3 June 2018

The African National Congress is stepping up its campaign in the interests of all communities to hold to account the Democratic Alliance-run municipalities in the Western Cape. As part of this campaign, the ANC has over the last week opposed budgets in DA-run municipalities which do not cater for the needs of poor people. Provincial Secretary Faiez Jacobs says the ANC has voted against all budgets tabled by DA-controlled municipalities, sending a clear message that the ANC wants to ensure that municipal budgets are used to change the lives of poor people.

The following are examples of ANC caucuses voting against DA budgets last week:

In the City of Cape Town, more than 50,000 comments were submitted by the public to oppose the DA-run metropolitan council’s tariff increases. Faced with a concerted campaign by ratepayers and civic organizations against the DA’s ludicrous proposals to drastically increase water tariffs and levies, the City eventually reduced the two key water tariffs from 26,9% to 19,9%, and 55,1% to 10,1%.

The ANC had opposed those increases from the outset and voted against the City’s budget last week. The ANC will continue to represent the interest of all ratepayers, especially the poor, in opposing the administration's efforts to make residents of Cape Town pay the price for the DA’s infighting and maladministration amid serious allegations of nepotism and corruption which has already claimed the head of the former Municipal Manager, Mr Achmat Ebrahim.

In Theewaterskloof, the ANC voted against the DA's budget because the DA gave rebates to the agricultural sector of R5-million whilst increasing tariffs on basic services by 10 percent, effectively forcing the poor to fund wealthy farmers.

In George, the ANC voted against the DA's budget because it did not address the needs of local communities and a corruption scandal hangs over that municipality as the Hawks continue their investigations.

In Overstrand, the ANC rejected the DA's budget as there was no public participation process.

In Swellendam, the ANC voted against the DA’s budget because councilors received the budget documentation only two days before it was presented, clearly intended to rush the budget through council without proper scrutiny.

In Central Karoo District, the ANC voted against the budget and Integrated Development Programme because the budget documents were distributed five (5) minutes before the meeting at which it was to be adopted. The DA’s Mayor acknowledged that there was no public participation to Beaufort west and other communities.

Jacobs said: “The African National Congress in the Western Cape is determined to hold the Democratic Alliance to account and will do so with all means at our disposal, including our role as an opposition party in municipal councils and the provincial legislature. Communities across the province have shown in recent weeks and months that they have had enough of the DA’s arrogance and their unwillingness to make decisions in favour of those people who are struggling to feed and protect their families. In the spirit of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ‘Thuma Mina’ call, the ANC in the Western Cape will accelerate our programme to work together with communities and civil society organizations to ensure that we make every effort possible to improve the lives of especially the poor and vulnerable.”

Statement issued by Faiez Jacobs, ANC Western Cape Provincial Secretary, 3 June 2018