The DA has rejected a ward-based budget which allocated only 5% of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Capital Budget to 10 DA wards in the Northern Areas. This means that only 5 cents of every rand will be spent on these wards.
On Monday, 29 August 2022, during a briefing session for councillors on ward-based budgets, the DA strongly advised the Chief Whip of Council, Wandisile Jikeka, to withdraw the item from the agenda for the council meeting on Tuesday, 30 August 2022. The item was not withdrawn.
This removal request was made due to the ward-based budget being wholly flawed as it does not cater for the developmental needs of the community of the Northern Areas.
A small capital budget does not only lead to less development in a community, it also deprives communities of job opportunities as SMMEs do not get access to work packages. Given the socio-economic needs of the Northern Areas, the DA has taken a strong stance against discriminating ward-based budgets.
In June 2022 the Nelson Mandela Bay municipal council made a resolution to table an early adjustment budget within 60 days of the 2022/23 municipal budget being adopted. In addition, council also resolved to rework and amend the ward-based budget in its entirety.
The ANC-led administration has yet to draft the required adjustment budget and now wants to table a flawed ward-based budget in an attempt to comply with the council resolution.
In spite of key developmental needs in wards in the Northern Areas, infrastructure allocations in some wards were woefully inadequate. These include ward 13 (R2,7 million), ward 34 (R1 million) and ward 35 (R2 million).
This whilst residents in these and other Northern Areas wards struggle daily with high unemployment and are plagued by one of the highest crime rates in the country.
The DA will continue to fight for the fair allocation of financial resources to the Northern Areas to ensure fair access to opportunities and a future for their children.
No community deserves to be left behind. It is important to get Nelson Mandela Bay working again.