Democratic Alliance statement by
Melinda Hattingh, MPL
DA constituency head for Kalahari
Gamagara fails to adopt mid-year budget
26 January 2017
The DA condemns the latest instance of administrative mismanagement at the Gamagara
Local Municipality. Due to the constant failure of the chief financial officer to provide full
documentation on time, councillors could not engage with the mid-year budget meaningfully
and approve it by the stipulated deadline.
A council meeting was scheduled yesterday for the council to consider the mid-year budget.
Councillors only received copies of the mid-year budget report at the meeting, still warm
from the photocopier. This is clearly insufficient time to study the proposals and see if the
municipality will be able to meet its service delivery obligations.
Furthermore, the documents were incomplete. On the 18 th of January 2017, Eskom
threatened the discontinuation of services if R11 million isn’t paid within 14 days. Yet all the
councillors received was a payment agreement dated October 2016. This is one instance we
know of that crucial documentation is being deliberately withheld from councillors; how
many other worms are in this can?
Our councillors rightfully objected and decided to walk out of the council meeting. Without
our councillors and the EFF councillor, who supported our decision, the remaining ANC
councillors in attendance did not form a quorum and could not adopt the budget.
We simply cannot entertain a budget if we have not received all the necessary details. How
can we be expected to adopt proposals when important information is being withheld by the
chief financial officer? We don’t accept his flimsy excuse that the municipal system had a
virus, because he had ample time to prepare and distribute the budget documentation. It is
not the first time that he fails to fulfil his duty and we think that the time has come for him
to be subject to disciplinary processes.
We will not be bullied into rushing through decisions that impact on the lives of the
DA Constituency Head for the Kalahari
082 494 6648
071 251 5558