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Bay inching closer to being placed under administration over budget impasse

By Afikile Lugunya - Jun 13, 2018
Bay inching closer to being placed under administration over budget impasse

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Councillors are again expected on Wednesday, for the fourth time, to try and look beyond their political differences and pass the Metro's proposed R12 billion 2018/2019 budget.

Failure to do so by the end of the month would see the Metro placed under administration and Council dissolved.

On Tuesday, there had been hope that the budget would finally be passed after a smaller opposition party, African Independent Congress (AIC), made a u-turn from its previous stance and announced it would lend its single vote to the Democratic Alliance (DA) led coalition, which needs 61 votes to break the impasse in the 120-seat Council.

However, the AIC's Councillor disappeared before voting could begin.

AIC Regional Secretary, Steven Mahlubanzima Jafta, explained to RNEWS that the disappearance of Cllr Tshonono Buyeye in council on Tuesday was because he is under pressure, after both the African National Congress (ANC) and the DA coalition made appeals for his vote.

“Councillor Buyeye was in a dilemma and pressure at the time.

“We had a deal with the ANC of taking Matatiele Municipality back to KwaZulu Natal, but unfortunately the ANC provincial leadership took the contradictory decision in the province," he explained.

“We also wanted to show them that we are not depending on it, they are the ones that depend on us and we instructed our councillor to vote with the DA coalition to punish the ANC."

Jafta told RNEWS that they took an opportunity, since this is happening in the same province, to also show that the AIC is “independent and that’s why we decided to vote with the coalition.”

“Both parties were making those calls, pleading and we instructed Cllr Buyeye to stay away from that up until we have engaged thoroughly with both parties if they are willing."

He said that the party hasn’t decided what to do at the moment even after the Council meeting was postponed to Wednesday.

At a press conference held by the DA coalition partners, the Congress of the People (COPE), the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the Patriotic Alliance (PA), and the DA, Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, said that what is happening in the Metro is very sad.

However, they will try by all means to ensure that the city is not "stolen by the ANC" by having the ANC-led provincial government come in and take over if it is placed under administration.

Trollip said that those, who think that they will give up and give the City back to the ANC, so that they can loot, are mistaken.

“We are not a chaotic administration and Andile Lungisa and [Mongameli] Bobani teamed to make sure that the council collapse and they make quiet an interesting pair.

“They are the same people in council causing confusion and chaos,” he described.