City budget an insult

Sandra Dickson, Brackenfell

On behalf of 40 000 dearcapetown and the 11 000 Stop Cape Town objectors, if the first budget was Patricia de Lille’s, the adjusted one is (acting mayor at the time) Ian Neilson’s.

Again the City thinks consumers would just look at the cosmetic changes. The latest changes make the budget go from the ludicrous to plain unacceptable.

These adjustments proposed by Mr Neilson, are an insult to the intelligence of the people of Cape Town.

The budget shows an adjustment in water and rates increases. No mention is made of the electricity increases.

There is no change to the levies: original increases: for: 6KL water: R157.50 + 55% plus R56 levy = 90.56%.

New proposed increases: for 6KL water: R157.50 + 10.1% plus R56 levy = 45.55%.

This was achieved by cutting the capital budget, thus reducing the interest to be paid by us on the money the City plans to borrow.

To begin with, in the proposed draft budget, the capital budget was grossly inflated.

The interest on these loans is paid by the public as reflected in the operational budget.

By borrowing less as shown in the adjusted budget, the City could halve the tariff increases due to the decrease in interest to be paid on the excessive borrowing.

There is no sign of the City reducing its own expenditure on items such as the R6 billion to be spent on contracted services or salaries.

Nor does Mr Neilson make any mention of the “typo” or “incorrectly populated table” containing the 17% increase for top management. Was it corrected?

Does Mr Neilson really expect the public to be satisfied with a three-page media statement after the draft budget was found to be riddled with errors?

We, the public, demand the entire budget be republished and put to public comment.