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Nelson Mandela Bay municipality finally passes budget

The passage of the budget has been beset by problems and delays but it was fourth time lucky for the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led municipality this morning.

FILE: Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has finally passed its draft budget.

The passage of the budget has been beset by problems and delays but it was fourth time lucky for the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led municipality on Wednesday morning.

And it came not a moment too soon.

The council was under the gun to pass its draft budget chasing an end-of-June deadline. If it had not met that deadline it would have run the risk of being placed under administration.

Mayor Atholl Trollip says he’s grateful the budget has finally passed.

“Councillor Tshonono Buyeye from the African Independent Congress came today to do what he promised yesterday, that he would support the budget to prevent political instability and the city being placed under administration. So, I’d like to thank the AIC very much for their support.”

With no clear majority in the council, it was up to one of the smaller parties to carry the day - the AIC voted in favour of the draft budget, swinging the vote.

Trollip says the real work will now begin.

“Fortunately, there were enough people in council to put the citizens of the city first and we can now proceed with planning to hit the road running on the first day of the new financial year.”

The African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) objected to the budget, saying it is not pro-poor.

ANC councillors did not attend today's council meeting.

ANC TO HOLD DA TO ACCOUNT

The ANC says it will keep a close eye on money spent in the budget. It was a difficult three weeks for the DA-led municipality after failing to pass the 2018/2019 budget.

The ANC says while it supports council’s decision to pass the Nelson Mandela Bay budget it will hold the DA to account.

The budget has been passed after three failed attempts. Caucus leader Pumelele Ndoni says townships need more funding for infrastructure and service delivery

“We respect the views of the majority of councillors that have passed the budget. We will continue to raise areas that need attention in terms of allocations.”

Meanwhile, mayor Trollip says council will now start implementing projects and deliver services to the people of Port Elizabeth.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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