ANC cries foul at Tshwane’s budget speech

Tshwane ANC leader Dr Kgosi Maepa says the township residents of Hammanskraal still face poor service delivery.

The dried-up Centurion Lake has been allocated R28.6 million for maintenance in the coming financial year while the murky water of Hammanskraal was not mentioned in the City of Tshwane’s budget speech yesterday, the regional ANC said.

Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa tabled his first budget speech for the capital city yesterday, prioritising upgrading of informal settlements, building integrated communities, promoting reliable transport, improving access to public healthcare and supporting the vulnerable.

The total capital budget for the 2019-20 financial year amounts to R4.2 billion: it’s made up of the council’s own funding of R394.8 million, borrowings of R1.5 billion and grant funding of R2.3 billion. It is expected to increase to R4.6 billion for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years respectively.

While the city has budgeted R785.7 million on maintenance and repairs of infrastructure and community facilities, a further R28.6 million would go to the Centurion Lake, which has been dry for more than a decade.

Tshwane ANC leader Dr Kgosi Maepa said this was only to please the DA ward councillors in Centurion while the township residents of Hammanskraal still faced poor service delivery.

“We have indicated that issue,” Maepa said. “The mayor is allocating millions for a lake in Centurion and this is council money but people in the townships don’t deserve it. To them, Centurion Lake is a priority because their councillors wanted it that way. But the Hammanskraal water is still dirty.”

He said he welcomed parts of the budget speech as they were rehashed ANC policies, such as the R69.5 million allocated to Tshwane free WiFi.

“But the financial year ends on June 30 and the city only spent about 25% of the current capital expenditure, yet they’re talking about another one while there is no rollover.

“We’ve lost almost R2 billion in grants from the National Treasury that they didn’t spend.”

Residents should expect to pay for utilities as tariffs are set to increase. Water and sanitation would both go up by 8% while bulk purchase tariffs increased by 10% from Rand Water. Electricity would also increase by 12%, said Mokgalapa.

“The National Energy Regulator of SA published the municipal tariff guideline increase of 13.07%,” he said. “The city has therefore accordingly budgeted for a revenue increase of 12%…”

To promote safety, the budget would cater for the Tshwane Metro Police with R49 million allocated for uniforms and protective clothing, R18.6 million for CCTVs, R32.2 million to prevent illegal land invasions, and R159 million for watchman services.

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