Below is a copy of the speech given by Acting DA Caucas Leader and Councillor Gustav Rautenbach yesterday during the Special Council Meeting convened to debate the R17.8 million the Mayor requested for “election purposes”:
(Read: Bend Over Whilst we Extract R17.8 Million for more insight.)
The Executive Mayor recently attacked the Democratic Alliance in the media by saying that the item before us is not only about the 2011 local government elections, but includes engaging with residents on, among other issues:
- The Integrated Development Plan;
- A community participation programme on our new vision and plans;
- Discussing the role of the municipality about the quality of life of the people;
- Various government programmes, and
- the 2011/12 budget.
Mr. Executive Mayor, I challenge you to show this Council where, in this item, you and your spin doctor find these programmes?
Speaker, the Executive Mayor has publicly accused the DA of being anti-democratic, financially ill-disciplined, lacking in sincerity, extremely dishonest, and misleading.
However, we read in the local media that the Independent Electoral Commission is shocked to learn that the Executive Mayor is seeking R17.8 mil (or 6-10 million as amended) of public money to “assist” the Commission. Let us not forget that the IEC did not request “logistical, advocacy and publicity support” from the Metro.
The DA has full confidence in the IEC – although we cannot say the same about the ruling party – in securing free, fair and democratic local government elections this year.
It is clear, Mr. Mayor, that you and the ANC want to run your own election campaign with ratepayers money. In fact, with R17.8 million of unfunded money! Shame on you and the ANC. How dare you and the ANC abuse hard-earned ratepayer’s money in such a disgraceful way?
Because of the financial crisis facing the cash-strapped Metro, its capital budget has had to be reduced by R536-milion, and the operating budget by R254-million. Some of the services that will be seriously affected by these cuts include the eradication of 22 500 bucket toilets, the budget of which has been cut by R74-million; the construction of new clinics, which has been slashed by R17.17-million; and the construction of storm water infrastructure, as well as water related services, which have been cut by R101.45-million. Mr. Mayor, where does your priorities lie?
Who does not know that the Metro is experiencing a critical drought crisis, and has to deal with backlog of more than 90 000 houses?
Speaker, the Executive Mayor is quoted in the media as saying: “We have already trimmed our budget to the bone”. We even had to borrow R450 million to survive. Is he now going to cut into the bone to get that R17.8-million?
He should inform this Council, and Metro residents, as to where, and how, his proposed task team will find this money.
Let me remind the Executive Mayor that he is dealing with public money and not his, or the ANC’s, money.
So Speaker, we need to ask:
- Who is being anti-democratic?
- Who is misleading residents and ratepayers?
- Who is insincere?
- Who is extremely dishonest and financially ill-disciplined?
Mr Mayor, definitely not the Democratic Alliance!
Speaker, I therefore move that this item be withdrawn.
DA COUNCILLOR: WARD 8
ACTING DA METRO CAUCUS LEADER
Editors Notes: The item was not withdrawn and was subsequently passed 59 -2 by councillors remaining after a walkout by the ACDP, DA, FF and ID aligned Councillors.
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