The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Tshwane turned against their ally, the DA, taking sides with opposition ANC, claiming that the proposed budget for the capital city did not accommodate those in the townships and informal settlements.
During deliberations at the council sitting in Pretoria on Thursday, EFF members raised concern that the budget report, which will be published for public participation, only looked at suburbs and the city centre.
Tshwane EFF leader Benjamin Disoloane highlighted errors in the draft budget report to mayor Solly Msimanga, implying it was not carefully compiled to benefit residents of the city.
“You [Msimanga] failed to understand that certain wards, such as Ward 106 and 107, were not included in the draft budget. You also presented projects supported in certain areas, but other wards and regions are left out. This is where most of our people are,” Disoloane said.
Msimanga presented the new budget last month, which increased by R59.3 million from the R4.46 billion approved by the previous ANC-led administration.
Disoloane further said the draft budget did not address the insourcing of municipal workers, a burning issue that has continued to spark protests within the city.
“The EFF has also noted complaints from the Soshanguve hostels, where about 400 people are living with limited service delivery. We urge the municipality that a portion of the money should be prioritised to develop these hostels,” he said.
The ANC caucus, dressed in black in honour of the late ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada, said the budget would not adequately cater for the city’s 2.9 million population as it decreased by 13.5%, compared to 2015-16.
“How can the DA deliver more with less? There is immigration, growing population, increased unemployment and the list is endless. This is the DA’s first attempt at drafting the budget for the city. It is up to the people of Tshwane during the public participation to decide on the budget,” said Councillor Refilwe Kekana.