The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gamagara rejects the municipal budget tabled in council on 31 May 2017.
According to Harold McGluwa, MPL and DA Provincial Chairperson in the Northern Cape, the budget did not follow the prescribed processes and the proposals will not stimulate economic growth in the municipality.
The DA's strongest objection is to the proposed tariff increases, which they believe are completely unjustifiable and do not meet the guidelines suggested by the National Treasury. The average municipal account will increase by 32%, which the DA be-
lieves is simply unaffordable for the majority of consumers. Instead of exploring alternative options for revenue generation, the municipality intends to place an unbearable burden on residents.
Another point of contention, according to the DA, is that three of the municipality's wards were excluded from the public participation processes, which means that the budget and its proposals did not get input from all members of the community. The DA wonders whether perhaps the possible strong resistance to the budget proposals from these three wards had prompted the municipality to take a shortcut on public participation.
Until such time as all wards have been consulted and their comments taken into consideration, the DA cannot approve the budget.
Besides, the agenda was also given to councillors fairly late, resulting in them not being able to prepare or highlight items of interest to look out for.
The Democratic Alliance believes that the budget processes must therefore start from scratch, follow the letter of the law and create proposals that are fair for all.
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