Question marks about the Cape Town public participation budget process

Through Siphokazi Vuso Apr 12, 2021

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Cape Town – The SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) expressed doubts about the city’s public budget participation process, saying it hoped it was not just a compulsory exercise.

Cape Town has called on the public to comment on the draft budget presented by April 23, before the final budget is approved.

The draft budget was tabled by Mayor Dan Plato during a virtual session recently.

Samwu Deputy Regional Secretary Bridgette Nkomana said: “When it comes to public participation, Cape Town does not really seek public opinion. Just by the way they organize these town halls and solicit comments. If you don’t have access to the technology, your voice is cut off. “

Mayco’s finance member Ian Neilson said the city has made R3.4 billion available to help eligible residents with tariff relief and services under its tabled budget.

“The City continues to protect its residents and taxpayers as much as possible from rising costs, especially Eskom’s massive price hikes, and to do this, significant budget cuts have been made, including some 460 Millions of rand have been cut from personnel and contracted services, while preserving the provision of basic services, ”the city said.

The “Covid-19 crisis, the sharp increase in Eskom’s electricity by 15.06%, a slow economic recovery and the general state of the national economy” were among the main factors impacting the The city’s budget of Rand 56.4 billion, Neilson said.

STOP CoCT civic group administrator Sandra Dickson said the city should release the ‘real’ amount that was spent on helping retirees and the public when they faced hardships related to Covid-19 issues .

“The City has chosen to leave the eligibility thresholds for retirees and the indigent as in the previous budget. The room allocation has not been increased either. It is therefore obvious that (the City) grants increases to support its own income, but as regards assistance to the paying public, no increase is envisaged.

“Every year, around, R3bn is mentioned by the City as being intended for“ relief ”tariffs and services. A real relief for all paying customers would be to redistribute the unspent portion of last year’s budget to them to relieve the entire base of payment of payers captured by the city, ”Dickson said.

Written comments on the budget presented may be submitted to the budget. [email protected] and verbal entries can be made by calling 0800 212 176.

The tabled budget can be viewed at www.capetown.gov.za/budget or a copy can be found at the nearest sub-council office or library.

Cape Times


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