The ANC’s rejection of Tshwane executive mayor Solly Msimanga’s latest budget is a clear indication the party is against service delivery in the townships they are running, according to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Tshwane.
The Tshwane ANC caucus yesterday refused to vote for the proposed budget for the 2018-19 financial year, which was debated before council yesterday, accusing the DA mayor of neglecting poor township residents.
But EFF leader in council, Benjamin Disoloane, welcomed Msimanga’s “pro-poor budget”, which was compiled to benefit the majority of the regions that were previously run by the ANC.
“If you analyse the budget, it caters to the townships around Tshwane, but the ANC rejects it since they have a problem of analysing and reading,” Disoloane said. “The ANC wants the issues of service delivery to be addressed. How can they now reject the budget when they’re councillors of those areas? Residents don’t have to worry any more because the EFF is in council to make sure that all executives are held accountable for all promises.”
Despite the negative vote by ANC councillors, the R4-billion budget was passed after 121 councillors from other parties voted in favour of the pro-poor expenditure.
While the mayor had allocated the biggest slice of the budget to major infrastructure investments such as water and sanitation, roads and stormwater, housing and electricity, ANC caucus leader Mapiti Matsena dismissed it as one that favours the suburbs.
“We were hoping to see an increase in the maintenance budget, particularly in townships,” he said. “We expected the budget to have more in terms of the new capital projects, such as roads. In terms of maintenance, there is no strategy on how the city will deal with the electricity outages. This budget is not a pro-poor budget, and people will suffer more under the DA’s budget.”
But Msimanga was not fazed by the ANC’s rejection, since the “fresh mandate” was for the “greater good of the people”.
“There are a number of things that I don’t think should have prevented the ANC from voting with council,” he said.
“We can have political differences, but it can’t be at the cost of residents. When parties come to me and disagree with me, I feel as long as the disagreement is for the betterment of the people, then we can have a discussion.”