The Nelson Mandela Bay council has still not been able to pass the next financial year’s budget, as the threat of being under administration looms large. This is despite the African Independent Congress declaring it would support it.
On Tuesday, the third sitting of the special council meeting to finalise the 2018/19 budget took place, but the council was unable to vote on the matter.
Last week, the African National Congress, together with the Economic Freedom Fighters and United Democratic Movement tried to collapse the meeting, by not returning to council after a break to caucus. The meeting didn’t collapse, however, as the AIC and United Front returned, giving the coalition a quorum to continue. They then requested that the meeting adjourn so that they could discuss the ward-based budgets with their constituencies.
AIC supports budget, then disappear
In Tuesday’s meeting, AIC councillor Tshonono Buyeye appeared to take many opposition councillors by surprise, saying that he would offer to support the budget, as murmurs spread through the chamber.
“We want to make it clear that we won’t allow a situation to arise where this municipality is placed under administration. The AIC have instructed me to go and defend the institution from going under administration. There must be no budget uncertainty.”
Shortly after Buyeye made the statement, ANC councillor Andile Lungisa was seen in the public gallery, behind Buyeye, making phone calls.
At one point, the DA’s Rano Kayser even objected and pointed out that