To see how hard working Ward Councillors go about their jobs, see Ward 6 councillor, Retief Odendaals’s newsletter below.
You may contact Ward 6 using the contact form at the bottom of this report.
GLEN HURD DRIVE BRIDGE SEVERELY DAMAGED BY THE RAINS
It has come to my attention that the 3rd Avenue Bridge in Glen Hurd Drive has been severely damaged as a direct result of the heavy rains Nelson Mandela Bay has experienced over the last few days.
Although engineers have yet to assess the extent of the damage to the bridge, an onsite inspection has revealed that a part of the bridge has possibly collapsed.
The 3rd Avenue Dip in Newton Park/Glen Hurd has experienced the heaviest rains since the last floods in August 2006. In 2006, the Kragga Kamma interchange was effectively washed away as were both bridges over the Baakens in Brickmakerskloof. These two major repairs were not completed for several years, with the Kragga Kamma interchange being completed some time in 2010 and Brickmakerskloof open to the public in 2011.
Plans to upgrade Glen Hurd Drive have been on the cards for a number of years but could not be implemented due to a shortage of funds.
The closure of the road will no doubt lead to increased traffic congestion in the Western suburbs, especially as the William Moffett is already utilized optimally with an estimated 24 000 vehicles making use of the road on a daily basis.
If we look at the Kragga Kamma Interchange and the Brickmakerskloof road and bridges and how long it took to reinstate the facilities, it bodes very ill for the Third Avenue Dip. Our municipality is faced with the mopping up operations from tomorrow, to cope with the devastation of the past days of rain damage. Limited budgets are strained to the limit.
Assistance should be called for from central government, as our metro could be deemed a Disaster zone.
It is indeed a pity that once again residents will pay the price for what could no doubt be described as a lack of foresight by the current administration.
THE AFCON SAGA CONTINUES
Below is an extract from a letter send to the Acting Municipal Manager from myself. This letter was copied to the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, Provinicial Treasury, the MEC and the Mayor. Please remember that the decision to host AFCON in the Bay is yet to be approved by Council and as such all monies spend on this project to date is thus deemed to be irregular and/or unauthorised expenditure…
We refer to the abovementioned matter as well as to our letter dated the 28th of August 2012 to which we are yet to receive an official response.
We note with concern the fact that you have to date failed to provide Council with the necessary guidance in respect of this contentious matter and as a result of aforesaid certain senior officials within the municipality have already incurred substantial Irregular and Unauthorised Expenditure herein.
We once again remind you of your legislative obligations in terms of section 60 of the Municipal Finance Management Act1 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) which clearly states:
“The municipal manager of a municipality is the accounting officer of the municipality for the purposes of this Act, and, as accounting officer must: (b) provide guidance and advice on compliance with this Act to – (i) the political structures, political office-bearers and officials of the municipality”
Given the aforesaid it is of a particular concern to us that you have submitted a report on the AFCON Cup for consideration by the NMBM Council at its meeting of the 22nd of October 2012 which is riddled with legal anomalies and which is as such clearly incompetent.
Section 15 of the Act reads; “A municipality may, except where otherwise provided in this Act, incur expenditure only (a) in terms of an approved budget; (b) within the limits of the amounts appropriated for the different votes in an approved budget.”
Notwithstanding the above, the mayor of a municipality may in terms of Section 29 of the Act in emergency or other exceptional circumstances authorise unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure for which no provisions was made in an approved budget. Any such expenditure must be appropriated in an adjustments budget. It is our contention however that the required funding for the AFCON Cup can be deemed neither unforeseen nor unavoidable as Council has been aware that the Municipality has been earmarked as a host city for the tournament since March 2012 already.
We confirm that it is also not clear whether the item before Council serves as an adjustments budget. If same indeed purports to be an adjustments budget, we fail to understand why the Acting Municipal Manager is tabling this item. The Act is very clear that only the Mayor may table an adjustments budget in the Municipal Council and then as such just within the prescribed limitations as to timing or frequency.4
Furthermore, Section 18 (1)(a) reads that; “An annual budget may only be funded from realistically anticipated revenues for collection.”
Council is well aware that it will cost the city some R 40,800,000.00 (Forty Million Eight Hundred Thousand Rand) to host the AFCON Cup. Although the Municipality has received a pledge for financial support from the Provincial Government in the amount of R15,400,000.00 (Fifteen Million Four Hundred Thousand Rand) towards the cost of hosting the AFCON Cup, said financial contribution is yet to be secured. Similarly a request to National Government for financial assistance in the amount of R17,000,000.00 (Seventeen Million Rand) towards the cost of hosting the event is yet to be considered. Given the aforesaid, Council might very well find itself in a position where it would have to allocate more than the anticipated R8,400,000.00 (Eight Million Four Hundred Thousand Rand) towards the AFCON Cup herein. As such it is my opinion that Council would also err in terms of Section 18 of the Act should it fail to secure the contributions from both National and Provincial Governments before adopting an adjustments budget. In any event, in order to comply with the Act the entire amount of R40,800,000.00 (Forty Million Eight Hundred Thousand Rand) needs to be reflected in the adjustments budget.
The NMBM has been in a dire financial position over the last two years. The Capital Budget, but more importantly also the Operating Budget, has been significantly under funded over this period. The Municipality has as a result experienced enormous service delivery constraints which is now seriously compromising its Constitutional mandate.
The DA has on numerous occasions indicated that they would gladly support the metro hosting the AFCON Cup if the funds needed to host said event can be secured from private sector donors. The DA is however not prepared to support the hosting of the tournament if it meant that Council would have to condone the spending of funds from its’ already under funded operating budget on said event.
We now call upon you to intervene in the matter and more specifically to:
- Withdraw the illegal report as contained in the Council Agenda due to be table to Council on the 22nd of October 2012;
- Request all officials to stop any AFCON Cup arrangements forthwith;
- Institute action in terms of Section 32 of the Act against all those officials or political office bearers whom have incurred irregular and/or unauthorised expenditure in the matter;
- Urgently obtain a legal opinion as to the legal ramifications of the metro resiling from the host city agreement with AFCON;
- Immediately endeavour to secure the funding sought from both the National and Provincial Governments in the event that Council is unable to resile from said agreement; thereafter request the Chief Financial Officer to liaise with both National and Provincial Treasury in order to prepare a proper report which should be tabled by the Mayor to Council forthwith.
In closing we also wish to remind you that in terms of the amendments to Schedule 1 of the Systems Act5 no councillor may vote in favour of or agree to a resolution which conflicts with any legislation applicable to local government.
We await your very urgent response hereto.
NEWS IN BRIEF
- Please remember that it is an offence to put refuse bags out prior to the day of collection. Residents are urged to place their black bags out on the same morning of the pick-up if possible. This will help to reduce littering and keep vagrants from scratching through your garbage.
- The Newton Park CPF shall convene on Wednesday the 7th of November 2012 at 18:30, Elizabeth Place, Newton Park.
- Please note that should you require a tree to be planted on your verge, the municipality will still do so free of charge. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact the Ward Office for assistance herein.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2012/10/ward-6-news-october-2012/