Cape Town city’s R5,78-billion expenditure a “blatant lie”

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

Mayor Patricia de Lille’s claim yesterday that the city has spent 92,9% of its budget to mostly help Cape Town’s poor was a “blatant lie”, charged the ANC yesterday.

De Lille said the city under her leadership had achieved its biggest spend in history, totaling R5,78-billion. Its total budget is R6,22-billion.

This expenditure is R1,54-billion more than the previous year. It takes into account the municipal budget spent from June 1, 2012, to May 31, 2013.

“I had to shout and scream but it was to the benefit of everyone. It worked… With your children, you give them hidings often enough and at the end of the year you see results,” said De Lille.

But Xolani Sotashe, the ANC’s chief whip in the city legislature, said De Lille they would “demonstrate how the city has failed in terms of spending its budget”.

“It’s a blatant lie. The mayor is trying hard to impress the public on the city’s ability to spend the budget. I can tell you without doubt the city will never spend 92,9%. We will give the media a true reflection of what’s going on,” said Sotashe.

“The city is distorting the reality. This is factually incorrect. Not so long ago the city was just above 50% of spending its budget. How can you jump from 54% in April to 92,7% now? It’s totally misleading.”

He said De Lille needed to look at “actual figures that have been spent and not commitments. Approving tenders and delivering services is a different story”.

De Lille said she had worked hard though to speed up the tender process at the city. She said one tender cycle was 139 days and this could create bottlenecks in service delivery.

“We looked at our tender plan. I made sure that each month tenders had been submitted to supply so processes can begin,” she said.

“There was a lack of project management at the city. Even mayoral committee members have gone for (management) training.”

And while De Lille said she spent the money on a pro-poor plan, Sotashe said this was also incorrect.

De Lille said the city’s “pro-poor spend stands at 64%… which is spent on direct service provision to poor households combined with substantive rates rebates, a comprehensive free basket of services”.

Sotashe retorted: “Poor people are not benefitting from this budget. White liberals are still enjoying their privileges at the expense of the poor.”

“You have social democrats controlling politics but the liberals control the budget. De Lille controls the politics but (deputy mayor Ian) Neilson controls the budget. De Lille won’t be able to deliver because Neilson will make sure he delivers the budget to the white minority.”

He added: “The DA controls sub-council 16 and that includes Sea Point and other affluent areas. If you combine the budget spent on all ANC controlled sub-councils you won’t even reach the amount being spent on sub-council 16.

“A huge chunk of the budget is going to affluent areas. We have the proof. We will demonstrate that.”
De Lille, yesterday joined by Neilson and city manager Achmat Ebrahim, said their “achievements show the city’s unprecedented successful financial performance for the past financial year which has resulted in higher levels of service delivery across Cape Town”.

The Facts: Where did the money go?
· Roads and Transport: R2,5 billion
· Utilities: R2 billion
· Human Settlements: R570 million
· Repairs and maintenance record spend of R2,6 billion
· Record purchase orders of R11,8 billion

Major capital projects include:

Health facilities in Eerste River R1 681 703
Extensions for anti-retroviral treatment services at Luvuyo Clinic R2 775 196
Building the Imizamo Yethu sports complex R2 689 698
A range of housing projects including Happy Valley Phase 2 R33 460 000
The replacement emergency response vehicles, including fire engines R20 829 4098
Upgrading and expanding the electricity network R1,23 billion

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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