On Tuesday 26 November, the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay exposed an item seeking the approval of more than R100 million in unauthorised expenditure.
The item, which should only be presented in the adjustment budget in February 2014, was riddled with examples of unauthorised expenditure on line items that were never budgeted for such as the increase in budget for the ‘Institutional Contract Management and Supply Chain System’ from R0 to R28 Million.
How can this Council be asked to approve expenditure on a project that was never budgeted for?
Another example is the upgrade of the Customer Care Centre where Council increased the R1.3 million budget by R2 million to R3.3 million. The budget was exceeded and now the Mayor wants us to cover up this unauthorised expenditure without any explanation.
A further amount of R75 million was allocated to Stadium Infrastructure but spent for operational purposes. How can this money be used for operational purposes as well as for outstanding infrastructure as stated in the item? The item is not clear. The item does not reflect exactly how this money was spent and is therefore currently presented as unauthorized expenditure.
After detailed input from Cllr Angelo Dashwood the item was deferred for further input. We trust it will return with a figure well under R100 million. The DA sees this deferral as a victory for effective financial oversight.
Proper financial management and budget planning are critical components of effective and efficient service delivery to all communities. In Nelson Mandela Bay there is simply no accountability for over expenditure and no political will to ensure essential projects, like the eradication of bucket toilets, are prioritised and dealt with.
Nelson Mandela Bay deserves a transparent and accountable DA government that will deliver services on budget and on time.
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