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Billions of rands of under-collection projected for Nelson Mandela Bay: DA

Jun 23, 2020
Billions of rands of under-collection projected for Nelson Mandela Bay: DA

Port Elizabeth - The Nelson Mandela Bay is on the verge of economic ruin, with a projected under-collection of R2,6 billion for the municipality in the 2020/21 financial year, according to the Democratic Alliance (DA).

"This came to light in the Metro’s Covid-19 response plan that was presented to government’s Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Portfolio Committee," said DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga.

"The City confirmed that under-collection is expected to reach R670 million for the 2019/2020 financial year.

"Adding to these woes is the fact that National Treasury appears to be withholding grant funding, to the tune of R750 million, due to the Municipality not adhering to directives that must be implemented before they release this funding."

Bhanga said that despite these significant blows to the City’s income streams, there seems to be no plan in place that speaks to how the effects will be mitigated!

"The DA is extremely concerned that, to date, there has been no Covid-19 expenditure report presented to the Nelson Mandela Bay council.  It also appears if Supply Chain Management regulations are now regularly flouted under the guise of Covid-19 expenditure."

He said that he will be writing to the interim Mayor, councillor Tshonono Buyeye, to request the following:

  • The City must engage National Treasury to discuss the payment of outstanding grants and the benchmarking of the budget. The Budget and Treasury committee resolved that any benchmarking interactions with National Treasury must take place in a multi-party format;
  • The Metro’s Budget Monitoring Forum must meet on a monthly basis to evaluate expenditure reports;
  • The Budget Steering Committee, consisting of representatives of all parties, must be re-established. This important committee has not met since the new administration took over the reins of government.

"During the DA and its coalition partners tenure in government the City was financially sound and boasted having a R2 billion surplus and receiving a AAA credit rating," Bhanga said.

"The DA will fight to ensure that the Metro does not fall into total financial ruin to the detriment of citizens that are already hard-hit due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic."

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