This morning's newspaper headlines lauded the great City Of Cape Town as having the "Best mayor in the World" and recently voted it number one in service delivery now faces a meltdown.
The result of these major budget cuts as reported will have dire consequences for residents of the DA-controlled City of Cape Town, but greater still is the underlying picture that emerges. A city with a growing deficit on service delivery charge repayments speaks to a general economic meltdown and how badly the global economic crisis has hit everyone.
The unfortunate part is that those who are suffering due to an already diminished service delivery are those who are also hardest hit in terms of economic and financial stability - the poorest of this City of two extremes. Job security is now even more at risk due to this budget cut as development opportunities slow down or come to a standstill. This again affects the rates base which affects the overall budget. And so the vicious circle of service delivery break down will spiral out of control.
But what is more alarming is that we do not hear of any pro-active fiscal management by the City of Cape Town in terms of a fall- back plan as its masters realised that as the National Revenue collection rate dropped so too would disbursements.
The ANC demands that the City of Cape Town look for savings or institute savings from ‘travel'. Better still that they put better monitoring mechanisms in place so that overruns as with the stadium and the mess in the transport budget never happen again and the more important service delivery needs can be addressed. That, by the way, is their core function but what do they prioritise? ...something that is removed from the budget and then surreptitiously added again......The upgrading of their intercom system in the council chambers!
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ANC: Statement by Carol Beerwinkel, African National Congress Western Cape MPL, on the City of Cape Town (03/11/2009)