Today the DA voted against an ANC coalition budget that will increase financial pressure on residents and decrease delivery on basics like fixing roads and keeping the power on.
It is a reality in Johannesburg and indeed the entire country, that residents are struggling financially. The lockdowns in response to the current pandemic have left us in an economic depression, with unemployment at record highs. Residents are struggling to pay for their rates and services. We are in grave danger of making this City unaffordable for residents to live in and for businesses to operate successfully.
This can be seen in the R272 million decrease in projected revenue. The right response would be to tighten our belts and reduce expenses, or use our available funds to provide relief to residents and businesses. Instead we see the City increasing its expenses by R301 million, which will wipe out any surplus the City might have by the end of the year. Any surplus would be vital to preventing further increases in rates, and electricity and water tariffs.
Important items like R9 million for upgrading the Hurst Hill Substation which would have prevented electricity and water outages, and R200 million to buy new fire engines (the City only has 2) have now been left out in order to pay for additional staff costs. These costs include paying staff to sit at home while old people stand in long queues at Customer Service Centres.
The DA will only support budgets which show a true commitment to providing residents with the services that they deserve, and which reflect an administration which is truly committed to rooting out the corruption that robs residents of their very lives.