Govan Mbeki Stopped YOU from Commenting on
YOUR Municipal Budget
EmfuleniAdd YOUR Voice
Govan Mbeki Local Municipality neglected public comment to cover up a hopeless budget that will cost you far more than you expected.
Now OUTA is taking legal action to force the municipality to redo the budget, this time with your input.
On 29 May 2019, the Govan Mbeki council approved Budget 2019/20 and the updated Integrated Development Plan (IDP), which takes effect from 1 July 2019. These crucial documents were hurriedly passed before the end of the public comment period on 4 June 2019. The municipality also failed to make the documents publicly available until the last minute, ran inadequate public meetings and ignored queries from the public.
OUTA believes this shows disrespect for the public, enabled the council to cover up inadequate financial planning and will result in higher service and rates charges.
We wrote to the council, the mayor, the municipal manager, the Mpumalanga MECs for Cooperative Governance (CoGTA) and Finance, and the Ministers of CoGTA and Finance. We asked for the budget and IDP to be suspended, for the council resolution which was passed by them to be set aside and for the public participation process to be restarted. We got no significant responses.
We won’t sit back because we were ignored.
We believe that effective public participation is your legal right and is your fundamental obligation to democracy.
We want you to have a say in how your municipality manages its finances.
We want our concerns about the budget and IDP to be considered by the municipality and the oversight authorities at provincial and national level.
This budget plans to let the Eskom and Rand Water debts get even bigger, and to spend approximately 20% more on staff but continue to hire contractors to do the municipality’s work. The IDP is supposed to plan for better, expanded and sustainable services over the next five years but this document is incoherent, unprofessional and won’t improve service delivery.
The council passed the budget and IDP three weeks ago but still hasn’t bothered to publish the final versions, so their plans effectively remain a secret.
Your municipal bills go up from 1 July 2019 but the council removed your right to comment on this.
Help us fund this legal action.