The City of Johannesburg’s 2018/19 budget was recently passed, despite almost half of its councillors, all from the African National Congress (ANC), not being in the council chamber.
Helping the vote pass, was the African Independent Congress (AIC), despite being in a voting agreement with the ANC.
But the party’s leader in Joburg, Margaret Arnolds, said that the decision was made to let the budget pass and not run the risk of putting the City under administration if it did not.
“We do not have a written agreement with ANC, we have a gentlemen’s agreement. But we have spoken to national leaders and said we cannot just vote for the sake of voting. If the DA is right on a matter, we will vote with the DA,” she said.
It is about the people, she said and doing what is right for communities.
The AIC leadership has taken the resolution that local structures can deal with local issues accordingly.
“It would have been bad for us to go out to the 40 000 people who voted for us in the City and explain why the budget was not passed.”
After tabling it in council three times, the budget was finally approved by Joburg’s councillors in mid-June. The ANC opted to leave for the vote, essentially rejecting the budget. Spokesperson Jolidee Matongo said the ANC believed the budget was not representative of residents’ wishes, expressed in the Integrated Development Plan (IDP).
“Passing a budget that does not reflect the wishes of people is quite unfortunate. It is clear that the DA will only listen to the EFF. We have made a number of inputs, like the reintroduction of 6kl of free water for all residents, but those were not taken into account,” he said.
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