The Democratic Alliance (DA) in eThekwini has voted against the eThekwini Adjustment Budget at today’s Council meeting- a budget we believe does little to address the municipality’s service delivery and financial crises.
Water outages, power failures, overgrown parks and open spaces, dumping and uncollected refuse, broken street lights, waist-high weeds and erroneous bills are the daily realities for eThekwini residents. Despite this, annual bonuses form a large part of the adjustment budget, running into hundreds of millions of rands.
Water and Sanitation officials will receive bonuses totaling R54 million despite the department being in an absolute shambles. This money should have been used for spares, contractors and maintenance, but will instead line the pockets of staff.
Durban Solid Waste staff- many of whom seem to strike more than they work- also receive bonuses totaling R31.6 million.
The items that take up the bulk of the overspending in the budget have no real bearing on eThekwini residents.
Zandile Gumede’s EPWP scheme remains intact, with millions overspent on a scheme that was abused for political gains and is widely thought of to contain ghost and fraudulent employees. Mayor Kaunda’s promises to fix it seem to have amounted to naught, as Gumede’s allies in his own caucus remain too powerful.
Overspending on Metro Police and security will hit over a billion rand in this financial year. eThekwini residents are no safer because of it, but politicians certainly are.
When the DA made clear proposals at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, our focus was clear. We need to put people first, approach the bargaining council to take bonuses off the table, and cut the fat.
These were largely ignored. The political elite continue to rake in the benefits of a top-heavy ANC administration while the ordinary people struggle along, made worse by a totally inept municipality.
Service delivery in eThekwini has all but collapsed and this is the ANC’s response- dish out bonuses to staff and ensure that politicians can keep their Metro Police protection and conveys.
It is a disgrace and eThekwini residents must punish them for it at the polls.
Issued by The DA