Due to urgent intervention by the Democratic Alliance (DA), a critical meeting of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Budget Performance Monitoring Forum will no longer be postponed for almost a month.
The Forum, which consists of public representatives and members of the administration, was supposed to meet on Monday, but this was initially postponed until 9 March.
The role of the Forum is to call each department to appear in front of it and be accountable for not spending its money.
With the Metro’s current capital expenditure sitting at only 20%, it is imperative that the forum meets quarterly to give input on how the Municipality must spend its money.
The Municipality’s midterm performance report, presented during a council meeting on 31 January 2020, painted a scary picture of only 20% capital expenditure during the first 6 months of the current financial year.
This includes only spending of 24.86% of the Urban Settlement Development Grant (USDG) even worse struggles in spending the Public Transport Infrastructure Grant (19.04%) and the Disaster Management Grant (0%).
During the two financial years of 2016/2017 and 2017/2018, while the DA and its coalition partners governed the Metro, we managed to spend 100% of our allocation of the USDG funding. This led to National Treasury further allocating R170 million and R200 million in appreciation of a job well done.
We are experiencing a cash crisis and we are not spending our money, but in spite of this, the Municipality still cancelled this vitally important meeting. Within this period of a month, much could have been done to ensure that the Municipality spends its money.
Yesterday, 11 February 2020, I wrote to the MMC for Budget and Treasury, Mkhuseli Mtsila, to request that members of the Forum are provided with weekly cash flow statements.
MMC Mtsila has now called me to inform me that he will be calling a Forum meeting within the next seven days.
We will interrogate the different municipal departments, hold officials to account, and make input on how the Metro’s money can be spent.
Only a DA government can save Nelson Mandela Bay from financial ruin.
Dr Malcolm Figg Cllr
DA Nelson Mandela Bay Spokesperson for Budget and Treasury
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