In the 2022/23 financial year, under the DA and its coalition partners, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality achieved its highest grant fund spending over the past four financial years.
The total grant funding spent for the financial year was 92.5%. The Metro will, therefore, forfeit far less money, if any, to the national fiscus for underspending conditional grants. (see document here)
What makes this even more remarkable is that while a former ANC coalition governed the Metro, there was virtually no spending in the first quarter of the 2022/23 financial year. When the DA and its coalition partners took office on 21 September 2022, the total grant funding spent was less than 2%!
The expenditure performance in the previous financial year was of particular concern to the administration as the Metro forfeited nearly a billion Rand in unspent conditional grant funding between the financial years 2019/20 and 2021/22. National Treasury has a “use it or lose it” principle regarding the spending of conditional grant funding.
Last year the DA made public commitments regarding our plans to accelerate expenditure after the Metro forfeited R242 million in infrastructure grants for the 2021/22 financial year to other municipalities. One of the first action steps the DA and its coalition partners took, was to re-establish the Budget Monitoring Forum in a bid to accelerate spending.
Over the last couple of years, the DA has repeatedly proven to the public why no other party is to be trusted with the keys to the Metro coffers. In the financial years 2016/17 and 2017/18, the Metro achieved some of the highest grant funding spent of all metros on record. As a result, the Metro was rewarded with additional, unbudgeted grant funding allocations from National Treasury to the tune of R178,8 million and R200 million, respectively – a reward for financial prudency.
In stark contrast, within weeks of being elected, the new ANC/EFF/NA/PA coalition has broken the Metro’s relationship with National Treasury due to their attempt at state capture by manipulating the MBDA CEO appointment. National Treasury is therefore withholding nearly R600 million in equitable share from the Metro. In addition, the Budget Monitoring Forum has also yet again become defunct.
The DA will, at the next standing committee of Budget and Treasury, demand that regular Budget Monitoring Forums be arranged to provide critical oversight on budget spending.
The DA is in your corner, fighting for you. Together we can get NMB working again.