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Bobani blames Trollip and Mettler for delayed budget approval in letter to Speaker

By Afikile Lugunya - Jun 7, 2018
Bobani blames Trollip and Mettler for delayed budget approval in letter to Speaker

Former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Deputy Executive Mayor and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) Regional Chairperson, Mongameli Bobani, has blamed Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, for delays in the passing of the Metro's 2018/2019 budget in a letter penned to Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council Speaker, Jonathan Lawack.

On Wednesday, Councillors again failed to pass the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's proposed R12 billion 2018/2019 Budgetand Integrated Development Plan (IDP) over differences.

Bobani also singles out Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Municipal Manager, Johann Mettler, for apparently misleading and undermining Councillors.

He says that Mettler shouldn’t have submitted the proposed R12 billion budget for Council's consideration without signing for it first and ensuring that it is accompanied by a quality certificate with several schedules for reference, which should also have been signed by the City Manager.

“This legal requirement is clearly explained in Regulation 10 (5), which categorically states that the City Manager in signing the quality certificate, certifies that all ratepayers and consumers are accounted for in the annual budget calculations and that billing systems including property records and metering information are up to date and consistent with the revenue projections in the annual budget," Bobani explains.

By failing to see this and presenting the budget in the council, Bobani, says that “The Executive Mayor [has also] dropped the ball.”

According to Bobani, Trollip was supposed to have applied to the Eastern Cape MEC for Finance for an extension in lieu of the failure to pass the budget.

“The starting point for [Wednesday's] meeting was for the Executive Mayor to table a copy of the application that he has made to the MEC for finance in the province. This is in terms of Regulation 60(1) regarding non-compliance of approving the budget, which states that an application made in terms of section 27 (2) of the MFMA must be signed and dated by the Mayor," he describes.

“In this application, the Mayor must explain the reason why the municipality will not comply with the relevant time provision.

“A copy of this application must be tabled by the Mayor at the first meeting of the municipal council following the submission of the application, which was [supposed to be] in [Wednesday's] council meeting.

“It was going to be practically impossible for [Wednesday's] meeting to continue without that Application by the Executive Mayor being tabled in [the] council meeting.

“Regulation 61 (6) states that the Mayor must table the response of the MEC for Finance to any application referred to in regulation 60 at the first meeting of the municipal council following the receipt of the response, also referring to today’s meeting."

Bobani adds that, in essence, the above mentioned regulations clearly spell out "to us as councillors that this Council cannot even start looking at this annual budget in the absence of the following three (3) critical documents":

  1. An application by the Executive Mayor to the MEC for finance;
  1. The response of the MEC for Finance; and
  1. The signed quality certificate by the City Manager.

“In closing Speaker, it is no longer a secret that this Council is continuously and deliberately being undermined and grossly misled by the City Manager, who flouts every piece of legislation that he comes across with," he describes.

“Misleading council is a serious offence, hence the UDM is strongly recommending that the City Manager must be disciplined. [Wednesday's] failure to pass this budget can only be attributed to the City Manager’s failure to perform his duties.”

Meanwhile the official opposition party, the African National Congress (ANC) said that they will draft their alternative budget, which will be presented in Council, which meets the needs of the poor as it should have been in the first place.