The ANC in the Sundays River Valley Local Municipality (SRVLM) has violated the Constitution and Section 30(2) of the Municipal Structures Act, while trying to push a summary budget through council. This was done without any supporting documentation and the necessary votes to pass it in council.
Last week, the SRVLM published that the 2019/2020 Budget had been adopted by council, despite only securing seven votes of the nine needed.
In doing so, the municipality is in clear violation of the Constitution, and all expenditure they incur could be deemed unauthorised. In simple terms, this means the municipality will not be able to spend any of its money. Salaries and service providers won’t be paid, and service delivery will grind to a standstill.
The way the budget was presented to council, as a summary budget with no supporting documents, is also a clear violation of section 16 of the MFMA and leaves the municipality open to possible misappropriation of funds, maladministration and fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
In light of the above, the Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape has written to the MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Xolile Nqata, requesting his urgent intervention, as we believe the municipality has not passed the budget in terms of the procedures set out in the Constitution and the Municipal Finance Management Act.
Section 160 of the Constitution clearly sets out the rules for passing municipal budgets, which require a majority vote of the council, not a simple majority of votes cast.
When the budget was discussed, on 31 May 2019, only 11 of the 16 councillors attended. The four DA members present abstained, meaning only seven votes were cast in favour of the budget. A majority vote of the council requires nine votes, meaning the council was two votes short and the budget could not have been passed.
The situation must be corrected before the new financial year, which starts on the 1st of July 2019.
A DA government will ensure clean and transparent governance and will spend the states money on speeding up service delivery to the people of the Sundays River Valley.
Vicky Knoetze MPL
DA Shadow MEC for COGTA
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