Opposition concerned about revised budget

Mbombela Civic Centre.

MBOMBELA – Opposition parties have called for thorough workshopping of the document.

Although the budgets for most projects have been decreased, there are some which have been increased substantially, the reasons for which are not clear.

The adjusted budget was approved at a recent council sitting in order to comply with legislation. Opposition parties were promised that within 10 working days, dates would be set for the workshop. That deadline passed on Tuesday and dates have not yet been announced by the speaker, Cllr Mandla Msibi.

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Question marks surround the widening of the Kaapsehoop Road lanes, which has been allocated a further R8,6 million “required to cover the full scope of work”. It is unclear what the “full scope” refers to.

Cllr Mr Mandla Msibi.

The Rob Ferreira public-transport facility has also been allocated a further R10 million, more than double its original budget.

According to the DA’s Ms Sanley van der Merwe, the document provided to councillors was simply not sufficient.

We have requested for all general managers, accounting officers and the chief financial officer to be present at the workshopping meeting, so that all questions can be answered. We need to insist on accountability,” she told Lowvelder.

CMLM declined to answer questions concerning its financial situation. In the mid-year performance-assessment report for 2016/17, the departments of water and sanitation, and city planning and development, achieved 19 per cent and 42 per cent of their targets.

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It is unclear what remedial actions will be taken to rectify the under-performance in these two departments.

According to the report on mid-year budget performance, electricity revenue under-performed by 24 per cent, allegedly due to key revenue-advancement strategies not being fully implemented.

CMLM has not elaborated on whether there has been any progress in implementing these strategies such as “meter technology, meter audit and the replacement programme”, and if they will effect all areas to which the city supplies electricity.

The municipality also under-spent on capital expenditure by 33 per cent, which “has a significant negative financial impact on the municipality as it may affect future allocation of those grants”.

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Philippa Francis

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