On behalf of the ACDP – I want to use this opportunity to wish Ald Sithonga well in this new post and to thank him for his many years of excellent service to the people of Cape Town. It’s been a privilege to serve with him on and off since 2000 and I’ve greatly respected the political maturity and wisdom he has demonstrated over the years.

When the CCT’s draft budget was debated a few months ago, the ACDP tabled a motion that sought to redirect R181 million of draft Capex funding away from the unnecessary building of a new Head Office for Water and Sanitation department, that alternative rental premises be sought in 2015/16 and that the R181 million be used to fund much needed and far more urgent capex programmes, including:

  • An additional R20 million for the upgrading of City clinics
  • And additional R23 million for the purchasing of additional vehicles and equipment for Fire, Traffic, Law Enforcement and Metro police
  • An additional R20 million for the construction of new ECD centres
  • An additional R60 million for Informal Settlements sanitation installation, and
  • An additional R20 million for housing projects and upgrades

…among several others.

This the DA rejected, amidst a flurry of lame excuses on a claimed technicality that the funding sources weren’t compliant therefore the motion was not competent, the DA falsely claimed.

Yet in the intervening period, and given the draft Adjustment Budget before council today, it is evident that HAD the DA wanted to effect such worthy changes to the budget, and cancel such an unworthy, wasteful and extravagant capex build on an unnecessary Head Office, it would have resolved whatever technicality it falsely claimed existed at the time and brought it before council today.

Yet no such proposal appears in the Adjustment Budget today.

Notwithstanding that the claimed technicalities never existed in the first place – and that finance officials will confirm such, it is clear that the DA are prioritising luxury for the service providers over basic service provision to the most needy and vulnerable within our communities who so desperately need these services.

It is clear that the DA are no longer merely rejecting the motion on a technicality, but rejecting the substantive motion itself.

How can a new Head Office, with all the trappings of sophistication, luxury and technology (new chairs and aircon) be more important than the building of ECD centres for our children, than building more City clinics for the poorest of the poor needing health services, than providing basic sanitation for our people living in appalling, inhumane, degrading and unhealthy informal settlements and improving safety and security to benefit all Capetonians?

The DA is clearly not a government that cares for the most needy, the poorest and most vulnerable among us.  Or the safety of all Capetonians

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