The DA has supported the Nelson Mandela Bay budget for the 2022/2023 financial year that was adopted in council, subject to an emergency adjustment budget being tabled within the next 60 days.
With Day Zero now mere days away, the DA was extremely concerned that the budget in its current format did not contain sufficient funding for drought mitigation and water augmentation projects. The water crisis is the single biggest challenge facing NMB and without improving water security, the city will falter.
We therefore proposed recommendations that will hold the executive accountable. These were not only successfully proposed but were also commended by the Executive Mayor. Such proposals come after our extensive engagements with residents and constituencies of the city.
The DA successfully proposed that operational spending on maintenance and repairs of water infrastructure, and capital budget works on water augmentation and drought mitigation, be prioritised.
The metro must prioritise all infrastructure projects that will integrate our water reticulation system so that we don’t have 40% of the metro without water. Fair access to water is of vital importance.
Some of the other successful DA budget proposals:
• The lowering of tariffs.
• All water rebates in terms of the existing policy should be fast-tracked by a team of dedicated officials.
• A new “above ground” water leak policy should be developed and implemented within the next three months.
• A report to be tabled to council within 30 days on the cost reflectiveness of council’s tariffs.
• A report to be tabled in council within 30 days as to possible additional revenue streams that can be identified by council soon.
• A report to be tabled to council within 30 days on challenges with Assistance to the Poor (ATTP)-verification processes.
The DA will do all it can to be in the residents’ corner and to fight for them for us to avoid Day Zero and a looming humanitarian crisis.