A 30 July press release from the Metro trumpeted the following: “The new coalition government in the Bay has recorded capital expenditure of 93% in the 2016/17 financial year – the highest spend since before the 2010 Soccer World Cup.”
As the man in the street I would not quite understand what is being said here – after all, my boss at work is constantly telling me to cut costs and save money so how can SPENDING money be a good thing?
The release goes on to say; “Paired with a collection rate of 93.7%, the Municipality’s financial position is now the most stable it’s been in almost a decade.”
Again as the man in the street I am now thinking so this present government is happy because they are collecting more and spending more of the money that they are squeezing out of me! Doesn’t sound like a good business strategy!
In a sort-of explanation the Metro says; “Infrastructure-led growth is crucial to ensuring that Nelson Mandela Bay is an opportunity and well-run city. By spending our capital budget, the Municipality is working to advance communities and drive economic growth through development. The final quarter of the 2016/17 financial year saw tens of kilomteres of road tarred, pavements repaired, painting of new road markings, the rehabilitation of parks and clean ups of public open spaces.”
Slowly I am now beginning to fathom why the Metro thinks that this is a good thing but of course the thought in the back of my mind echoes that of my boss – Just spending money on your business and not squeezing every cent out of it doesn’t make sense! You have to make sure that what you buy is the best, will last the longest and, ultimately, is the cheapest even if the initial cost is higher! Unfortunately the released does not give me that detail relying as it does on a couple of buzzwords: coalition, stable, World Cup, opportunity, well run… at this moment in time I can hear the song title ‘Tell me Why’ echoing in my brain.
The release finishes with these words; “This sets an important benchmark for subsequent years, as this government works to ensure that the Municipality keeps moving forward, spending money on our people through basic service delivery and economic growth.”
And the penny drops a little further – this ‘government’ wants to send a message to the voting fodder that they need to vote for them come the next elections.
What words would I have used?
“Various municipal infrastructural departments have recently reported that their spending on maintaining and improving essential infrastructure such as roads, pavements, parks, road markings and general cleaning has peaked at 93% of the budget amount allocated and obtained from ratepayers for the 2016/17 financial year – the highest percentage in comparison to pre-2010.”
“Paired with a collection rate of 93.7%, the Municipality’s is optimistic that future budgets will allow more money to be allocated to essential repairs and upgrades to areas most in need thereof.”
“By spending ratepayer contributions we ensure that Nelson Mandela Bay stands out above other cities in the all important quest to create a city of opportunity for business looking to invest and prosper. Spending on the capital budget ensures that residents and ratepayers are empowered to get on with the business of economic development whilst the city provides a working and solid infrastructure. (If the figures were available here I would include something about exactly how much of the money spent was on small local business and how much stayed in companies in the Metro)”
“As temporary custodians of the wishes of our residents and ratepayers this government affirms it’s commitment to try and ensure a better life for all whilst continuing to spend money on ensuring that residents and ratepayers receive efficient basic service delivery which will lead to better economic growth.”
Not as exciting but a more accurate report methinks!
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