According to Clr Ivan Naidoo, DA deputy shadow MMC for the Finance Oversight in Ekurhuleni, the City of Ekurhuleni is in dire financial crisis, with mere 13 days of cash left in its coffers.
The statement has been shared on social media platforms and judging from people’s comments, this has caused a great deal of uncertainty for residents who said City’s financial problems result from dwindling service delivery over the years.
The DA said it is shocked to learn that the ANC-led coalition government in the City has a mere 13 days of cash left in its coffers, despite the executive mayor, Clr Mzwandile Masina, declaring a stable financial position.
“The dire cash flow situation is a result of poor planning by the ANC coalition-led metro, who through decreasing revenue collection rates, costly overtime payments, and generally poor performance across key departments within the metro, find themselves in a desperate financial state.
“While the ANC-led coalition predictably blamed the situation on the Covid-19 pandemic during a virtual council meeting on January 28, it is clear that from financial performance results for the second quarter of the 2020/21 financial year, that this is a result of poor planning and no accountability,” said Naidoo.
The DA further stated that payments have been particularly devastating to the CoE’s financial state, and the City’s policy is clearly unsustainable.
“Since 2017, the DA has been calling for a shift rotation system in a number of departments and entities to offset these losses.
“These calls, however, have fallen on the deaf ears of an uncaring ANC and its coalition partners.” Naidoo said the financial squeeze on the City means a decrease in service delivery for the residents of Ekurhuleni.
“In the second quarter of 2020/21 financial year, the City underspent on maintenance and repairs, leading to an increase in potholes, power outages, sewage overflows, and a general deterioration of basic services.
“This is a far cry from the Batho Pele principles of ‘We belong, we care, we serve’ that the metro supposedly subscribes to.” The party concluded that the City needs an administration that can implement innovative, forward-looking, strategic measures and controls that can effectively manage the financial situation that the City finds itself, and thereby promote the wellbeing of residents through increased service delivery.
It’s unclear how long the City’s finances been in the red and whether there is a recovery plan.
Setting the record straight on the City’s financial affairs
Responding to the DA claims that the City is in dire financial crisis, Ekurhuleni metro spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said contrary to what he described as the DA’s attempt to score cheap political points, the City is in a sound financial position.
“It should be noted that the pandemic has had an impact on the economy and other factors thereof; however, this has not resulted in the City being in the red. As part of dealing with the challenges of the pandemic, the City has had to be strict on issues of credit control.
“This was to ensure no significant impact on the revenue collection, and this has yielded the necessary benefits. To date, the pandemic and its impact on the economy has not affected the City’s financial position and performance, including the ability to render services.
“There has not been poor performance during the nationwide lockdown period in the City of Ekurhuleni. As a precautionary measure, under level five of the lockdown, the City instituted a work-from-home policy which was developed to protect City staff from contracting the Covid-19 virus at the workplace,” said Dlamini.
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