Tshwane City Budget Speech Goes Virtual After Ch…

Peter Sutton, the MMC for finance for the town of Tshwane, finally delivered his budget speech on Friday, May 20, albeit virtually. This was after the council’s budget speech session was interrupted by rowdy EFF advisers the day before.

On Thursday, May 19, EFF advisers demanded the insourcing of security guards and other workers. In videos circulating on social media, recalcitrant EFF advisers can be seen bursting into rooms and overturning chairs before confronting the chairman of the council, Dr Murunwa Makwarela, shoving him and taking documents from him. hands.

During the disruption, EFF advisers ripped out electronics and public address devices, ensuring that Makwarela could not communicate with advisers in the rooms. The meeting was adjourned and Makwarela later announced that it would be held online the following day.

Jacqui Uys, chair of the DA Tshwane caucus, said the EFF breached a High Court ban issued on March 28 this year. The ban names Tshwane City Metropolitan Municipality and Acting City Manager Mmaseabata Mutlaneng as the first and second petitioners, respectively, with the EFF as the respondent.

He declared illegal a march by the EFF to municipal offices and prevented the party from carrying out any acts of destruction on the property of the town of Tshwane and any other private or public property, or from committing acts of intimidation towards one of the employees or patrons of the city.

The ban also ordered the police to prevent the EFF from encouraging or motivating Tshwane town workers to participate in their illegal and illegal march scheduled for March 28.

“The Democratic Alliance will file a criminal complaint against EFF councilors following their violent and aggressive behavior toward city officials, council members and the destruction and vandalism of city property,” Uys said. .

“EFF councilors destroyed council property, ripped out electronics, then threw tables and chairs to disrupt [the] Meet. The DA condemns these violent actions which undermine and threaten our democratic processes,” she said.

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“Victims of their own fire”

Jaki Seroke, spokesperson for the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, also condemned the violent behavior of the EFF: “The EFF voted for Randall Williams to be the mayor of Tshwane. The DA doesn’t listen to them and now they are wreaking havoc to be heard. They are victims of their own fire.

Dennis Bloom, spokesman for the People’s Congress (Cope), said: “Cope condemns the hooligan behavior of people deemed to be public officials. Disruptive councilors should know that they are being paid with taxpayers’ money and should refrain from disrupting proceedings in the council chamber.

The EFF did not respond to questions about the behavior of its members inside the council chambers. At the time of this writing, neither ActionSA nor the ANC had condemned the behavior of the EFF.

In a statement, EFF Tshwane said the DA’s plan to bring criminal charges was “ill-conceived” and “of no consequence”. The party claimed that its advisers were defending themselves against members of a private security company.

“The EFF advisors categorically did not engage in any malicious property damage action,” he said.

Addressing EFF supporters outside the city chambers after Thursday’s heckling, EFF Tshwane leader Obakeng Ramabodu said the party wanted the 2021 pay rise deal between the town of Tshwane and its workers be implemented. He pointed out that a budget that did not include the insourcing of all people performing work for the City was a “sell-off budget”.

Sutton said insourcing the workers would add a billion rand burden to the city’s coffers. “The EFF cannot be allowed to impose its policies on the town of Tshwane,” he said.

Makwarela denied that the budget speech meeting had been moved online over fears the EFF would cause further disruption at an in-person event.

“We are not afraid, we are a government,” he said. “It is expensive to host a council meeting. Councilors have to travel far and others use public transport. To reduce costs, it is therefore prudent to also have online meetings.

Budget allocations

The city’s total budget is R44.9 billion, of which R42.1 billion is allocated to the operating budget and R2.8 billion to capital infrastructure.

“The purpose of the budget is to put the interests and needs of our residents at the forefront of our work in the Town of Tshwane,” Sutton said.

Land rates will increase by 6% and garbage removal will also increase by 6%. Electricity tariffs will increase by 7.47% and water tariffs by 9%.

Tshwane emergency services will receive R986 million. The Tshwane Metro Police Department will receive R2.8 billion. The city’s human settlements department will receive R411 million for capital projects and R970 million for operating expenditure. The city’s expanded public works program will receive R72.9 million; R10 million will be spent on setting up a copper anti-theft unit and R68 million will go towards setting up a highly trained multi-disciplinary revenue collection team.

Installing prepaid meters in the city will cost R57 million. Marabastad Trading and Marketing stalls will receive a R7 million boost. Phase 1 of the ongoing Rooiwaal sewage treatment plant will receive R40 million. The Tshwane Fresh Produce Market will be awarded R18 million.

Other highlights of the budget are the renovation of the Wapadrand electrical substation, to the tune of R35 million. The Mooikloof substation will be renovated for R30 million.

Restoring vandalized Wi-Fi connections will cost the city R23 million. Rosslyn and Pyramid substations will be upgraded for R14 million and R25 million, respectively, while line 2B in Lynnwood will be built for R120 million. DM

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