The report before council, its attachments, and the Annual Report itself highlight several challenges and problems:
- On Pg 78 of the report – the recommendation to council that it consider establishing an Oversight Committee under Section 33 and 79 of Structures act – has been ignored.
- Further down – The report confirms that ALL meetings of Council where AR is considered MUST be open to the public, yet at the 28 Jan council meeting the public was excluded.
- Public participation in this process was non-existent:
- No notices or invitations were sent for public to attend the MPAC meeting, so none attended
- according to pg 175 of the annexures, the Head of Reporting and Monitoring says the “AR was only tabled at Council and Portfolio Committees, and it was NOT sent to Subcouncils – yet, in contradiction to this, pg 79 of the report says, quote, “public comments were accommodated at Subcouncil meetings provided the public reserved a time slot”. The report before council is factually incorrect and misleading.
- No members of the public can comment on an item that is not on the agenda, therefore the public was denied the opportunity to comment on the AR.
- MPAC raised several very important concerns, including:
- Material capital budget under-spending amounting to R1,1billion
- That only 10% of treated wastewater is re-used – 90% being lost, yet we have a water shortage.
- No details are provided of the several investigations mentioned in the AR.
- Athlone power station problems gets no mention at all.
- The value of consumer debt is increasing exponentially, now sitting at 8,5billion, yet no mention of why or what is being done to reverse this.
- And so the list continues…
- No tangible answers appear in the AR confirming that these major problems have been ignored and glossed over in the AR
- The report before Council and the AR itself is therefore substantially misleading and not a true, fair, reasonable or proper reflection of the state of the City and its performance – as the MFMA expects.
ACDP rejects the City’s AR for these reasons