DA in Ugu District rejects 2023/2024 unfunded budget

Issued by Councillor George Henderson – DA UGU District Caucus Leader
05 Jun 2023 in Press Statements

The DA in Ugu District rejected the 2023/2024 budget as no proof could be provided by the mayor or the officials that the budget is funded. Council is legally prohibited from approving an unfunded budget through provisions in the Municipal Finance Management Act and regulations.

Our equally important reasons for rejecting the budget are:

  1. UGU’s infrastructure is collapsing and incapable of delivering water to all households, yet the budget provides for a 4% allocation on repairs and maintenance. This is half of what the treasury recommends.
  2. UGU’s paying customers, which could be as low in number as 50% of all its consumers, already pay high tariffs for services they don’t receive. The budget proposes a tariff increase of 6% increase for the only customers who are paying and makes no effort to receive payments from the other 50% regardless of their ability to pay. This is discrimination of the worst kind, particularly when paying customers go without water for days, weeks and months without as much as an official explanation.
  3. Revenue enhancement and debt collection are not given the priority that is essential to the financial sustainability of the municipality.
  4. There is little to no tangible improvement in metering, billing and account verification. The budget does not include any attention to this essential part of the administration.

This is not a budget that focusses on UGUs core business of water provision and waste-water management. It is more of the same ineffective and misguided budgeting that has reduced the organisation to state of ineptness, incapacity and poor performance.

The DA calls for an alternative that focusses resources on the maintenance and expansion of infrastructure, the effective and fair administration of water consumers and the elimination of wasteful expenditure on populist non-core functions like tourism, taxi ranks, markets, sports grounds and the host of politically inspired functions that don’t produce clean water from our taps for generations to come. This is UGU’s reason for existence. The current ANC leadership and government see it as a place to trade employment and patronage for votes and self-enrichment.