Kouga Budget for 2012/13 – April Fools’ joke or handled on different planets?
The draft Kouga Municipal budget for 2012/2013 was discussed during a Council meeting on Wednesday 28 March 2012.
Subsequently two newspaper reports appeared on the outcome of the meeting , both presumably based on data supplied by the ANC regime in Kouga, which have no bearing on what actually occurred.
The reports are so far from what transpired in Council they must surely be an April fools’ joke since they do not reflect the debate that took place in the Kouga Council Chambers.
For the record Mayor Booi Koerat made an introductory budget related speech during the presentation of the draft budget and was complimented by the DA councilors for being frank and open to what he labeled as the “dire financial position” of Kouga Municipality.
During a lengthy debate in which only the DA councilors participated, Councillor Cawood, the DA Caucus leader, again complimented the Mayor for his open stance on the financial crisis Kouga is currently experiencing and emphasized the importance of a realistic budget linked to the IDP, as the most important tool in municipal administration to guide both short and long term planning. Furthermore a thorough compiled budget would also serve as a “bail out” plan in a financial crisis.
Councillor Cawood suggested the draft budget be viewed against the backdrop of Kouga’s own IDP document, tabled at the same meeting on Wednesday which stated:
“We have unfortunately inherited a budget that is incongruently unaligned to our constituency and institutional needs and demands.”
He also referred to major issues in Kouga municipality such as:
- The recent ratings in RATINGS AFRICA where the Municipality was rated as the least financially sustainable of all the larger municipalities in South Africa.
- The AUDITOR GENERAL’S recent disclaimer for the Municipality, the poorest rating that the AG can issue for a public institution.
- The Kouga Mayor’s own admission of our dire financial position’.
Councillor Cawood then commented on the printed budget before Council, which was unsurprisingly a carbon copy of last year’s unrealistic budget, with only the figures updated.
The very same budget caned by the AG and which Kouga itself admits as being flawed. Regrettably there was no evidence of any real effort to address the severe short comings referred to above.
He proposed that Council meet at a workshop to consider the submissions from the DA, as well as those from the public, and come up with a proper budget to “save Kouga” from its perilous financial position.
Councillor Ben Rheeder submitted the draft budget did not address the present outstanding debt owed to creditors and if this outstanding amount is R 40 million and the municipality again fails to collect the proposed 95 % of all debtors, this could escalate to a shortfall in excess of R 100 million. He also noted the levies such as the St Francis Bay sewerage and others had not been ring fenced in a separate account as required by legislation.
Elza van Lingen, MP for Kouga supports the DA proposal for a work shop before approval of the draft budget. Too often in the past proposals and preconditions by the DA before acceptance of the budget have been ignored by the ANC.
The current “dire financial position” is exactly the outcome of such foolish arrogance. This workshop should happen before the public participation meetings are held in each ward. Kouga council has its back to the wall and it is essential the governing party should now listen to reason before destroying Kouga completely.
The DA Caucus wish to put on record that the 2012/2013 budget was not approved at the council meeting on the 28th March 2012 but referred to a workshop for further discussion.
KOUGA DA CAUCUS