Today, 28 February 2022, ActionSA will vote against the adjustment budget of the multi-party coalition in the City of Tshwane despite being a signatory party to the coalition.
Through this adjustment budget process ActionSA made representations regarding our service delivery priorities for inclusion in the adjustment budget. These important representations have been ignored.
The adjustment budget to be tabled today in Tshwane not only failed to allocate additional funds to hasten the resolution of the Hammanskraal water crisis, but the budget allocation was reduced by R65 million.
While the City was committed to starting phase 2 of the project, prior to 1 July 2022, the impact of the phase 1 reduction of R65 million means that this phase will not be completed until October 2022.
A R98 million proposal for water tankers to serve informal settlements was reduced to R20 million and taken from ActionSA’s Human Settlements portfolio, without consultation, and now inexplicably held in the Mayor’s Office. A proposed budget allocation of R44 million to relocate informal settlements has been reduced to R6 million and the R278 million to relocate the Mamelodi flood victims has been zeroed out.
Numerous other refusals and reductions can be cited, including the reduction to zero of 23 out of 25 capital projects for ActionSA’s Community and Social Development.
The collective impact of the decisions made in the adjustment budget has been a systematic denial of ActionSA budget requests that relate to our pro-poor, pro-business service delivery agenda. As the party with support in all communities, we take our role seriously in ensuring that all residents of these municipalities are served by the programmes of government.
No Tshwane government can be pro-poor or pro-farming if they reduce the budget aimed at fixing the water crisis effecting the residents of both Hammanskraal and Rooiwal who, for over 14 years, have lived with water unsafe for human or animal consumption or for the irrigation of crops.
ActionSA has been heavily involved in driving the Hammanskraal water crisis, including holding public hearings headed by experts in human rights, water and sanitation which produced a report urging Tshwane to expedite a detailed solution. Click here for a copy of the report. The report found the City had comprehensively failed in its human rights obligations.
Yesterday Herman Mashaba visited the Mamelodi Flood Victims, characterising their living conditions as a violation of their constitutionally enshrined human rights. Over the past 2 years ActionSA has represented this community in legal action against the City of Tshwane. When we entered a multi-party coalition in Tshwane and were allocated the MMC of Human Settlements portfolio, we believed we could deliver the solutions through the programmes off government rather than litigate for them.
ActionSA alerted our coalition partners of our position and a meeting of national representatives of the coalition took place on 23 February 2022. Here it was resolved that the item would be stood over to Monday 28 February to afford the time necessary to accommodate ActionSA’s budget requests. Despite this, on Thursday ActionSA learnt that the item continued in the Council agenda in contradiction of the national coalition decision and the signed coalition agreement. With minutes to spare it was conceded that the Council meeting would be adjourned to afford time for ActionSA’s budget requests to be accommodated in the adjustment budget.
Meetings were held on Friday and Saturday to achieve these accommodations. In the meeting it was conveyed by a DA Councillor present that the support of ActionSA will not be necessary to approve the adjustment budget. Given the seat allocation in Council, this serves as a clear admission that the ANC’s support has been canvassed to pass the budget. If this transpires ActionSA will review our involvement in the Tshwane because involving the ANC is a violation of both ActionSA’s commitment to keep the ANC out of these governments as well as the coalition agreement.
Unfortunately, these meetings failed because communication was received yesterday conveying that the vast majority of ActionSA’s budget requests would not be accommodated. ActionSA’s inputs have been limited to two minor items accumulatively constituting 0.02% of the City’s budget.
ActionSA’s purpose in multi-party coalitions is not in service to political parties or Mayors, it is in service to the residents who reside in the municipalities. This is why we vote against the adjustment budget today.
The decision is not taken lightly. The impact of not funding these projects is real and severe for the people of these communities who suffer daily with recent election promises still fresh in their minds.
We will not tolerate any effort to silence our contribution to making this coalition in Tshwane serve all the residents of this City in accordance with the signed multi-party coalition.
ActionSA votes against this adjustment budget with the pride of serving the residents of Tshwane.