The Democratic Alliance fully supports the celebration of 20 Years of Democracy and we acknowledge that life is definitely better in South Africa now than it was before 1994. The DA believes that delivering quality services to all our communities is the best way to celebrate 20 Years of Democracy.
The cash strapped Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, however, is planning to fund celebrations to the tune of R15 million while so many of our poor communities continue to suffer from a lack of basic services.
The decision from Cabinet, to hold celebrations should be welcomed; however the funding should also come from Cabinet so that cash strapped municipalities like ours do not bear the cost. There are also question marks around the misuse of this money for party electioneering purposes, for example the printing of tens of thousands of T-shirts in ANC colours.
In an item to be tabled before Council which was leaked to the DA a budget of R 15 080 212.25 has been requested to fund the celebration of 20 Years of Democracy. In the same item it says: “Municipalities are encouraged to plan modest celebrations, which would not burden expenditure patterns but achieve a great impact”. Furthermore National Treasury has written to Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality specifically calling for all non-priority expenditure on celebrations to come to a stop.
No amount was budgeted for these celebrations in the original budget and there is no doubt that services to all communities will be affected as budget cuts from various departments, such as sanitation, will take place.
The DA supports the celebration of democracy but will never agree to such an unaffordable budget of R15 Million while our poorest residents are still awaiting basic services such as proper housing, refuse collection, water, electricity and sanitation.
It is amazing that the ANC led Council can find an amount of R15 million to spend on celebrations but can’t find R9 million to eradicate the more than 23 000 bucket toilets being used throughout our Metro.
Leon de Villiers
Editor: If you were faced with a choice to spend R9 million to eradicate 23 000 bucket toilets or R15 million on celebrations – which one would you choose?
One suspects that the ruling party is missing a MASSIVE opportunity to make a minimum of 23 000 households and countless numbers of voters happy. Selfishness to the extreme.
* Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes utility, usually defined as maximizing happiness and reducing suffering.
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2014/02/utilitarianism-nmb-metro-style/