The ANC controlled Emfuleni Local Municipality (Evaton, Sebokeng, Vaal Oewer, Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging), with the support of certain opposition parties, yesterday adopted an unfunded municipal budget for the 2022/23 financial year.
The ANC coalition, consisting of 42 councillors, called for a secret ballot, which delivered a result of 48 votes for the budget.
The FF Plus voted against adopting the budget and warned the council that an unfunded budget will have a detrimental impact on service delivery.
An unfunded budget means there is a deficit of funds and, thus, such a budget is not viable. Even Gauteng's provincial Treasury criticised the budget.
On 1 June, the FF Plus sent a notice to the Speaker of Emfuleni, Sibongile Soxuza, pointing out that the budget that was tabled on 31 May was unconstitutionally adopted.
During the meeting, only 42 of the 90 elected councillors supported the budget. And only 64 of the 90 councillors were present at the meeting.
In terms of Section 160(3) of the Constitution, the majority of councillors must be present and support the budget when a Municipality's budget is tabled for approval.
The council had, in terms of the Municipal Financial Management Act, until 30 June to adopt the budget before the new financial year commenced on 1 July.
The FF Plus simply cannot support a budget that puts even more financial pressure on taxpayers and that facilitates maladministration.
Some of Emfuleni's creditors have been waiting for payment for more than 900 days. The Municipality also owes bulk suppliers, like Eskom and Rand Water, millions.
The ANC controlled council is using smoke and mirrors to try and cover up its incompetence.
The people of Emfuleni deserve better than the ANC.