Oudtshoorn’s ex CFO fixes the Bitou mess of Oudtshoorn’s current CFO;
and the DA/Cope government refuses a salary increase for Councillors!
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Oudtshoorn. 20 February 2012. 05h45. If I were to cuss for an hour without repeating an expletive, and I think I can manage that, I’d still be miffed.
The half-wits of Verwoerd Square got rid of Keith Jordaan – yeah, yeah, I know, I know; it’s all ancient history – and appointed Deon Lott – Deon Lott! – in his place… and Lott’s previous employer, so keen to be rid of him that they promoted his appointment in Oudtshoorn, had to ask Jordaan to come fix Lott’s budgetary mess in Bitou.
And Jordaan did just that. In double quick time too, and in the process Bitou became the first municipality in the Western Cape to approve its Adjustments Budget for 2011/2012… probably the first municipality in the country to do so.
Bitou’s original budget was drafted by Deon Lott and approved by an ANC Council.
“It has been found to be a totally unrealistic budget”, said Mayor Memory Booysen this Thursday last.
Income, for instance, was overstated by R27.1m!
The municipality’s original R44m Capital Budget has been expanded to R53.6m because of roll-overs from the previous financial year and additional funding received.
The capital budget cash flows were reviewed and adjusted to ensure that all projects are to be completed by 30 June 2012 at the latest.
Booysen observed that capital spending to date stands at R17,451,967 or 32.69% of the adjusted budget which is unacceptably low.
“I have challenged the Municipal Manager and this administration to ensure that all funds made available are expensed so that much needed services are delivered to the community and value for money is obtained”, said Booysen.
The allocation of MIG funding was adjusted and approval granted for R5m be transferred from the waste transfer station for the installation of bulk infrastructure in Kranshoek.
The Operating Budget now makes provision only for currently employed staff and Council ruled that critical posts be identified, budgeted for and filled only when the organisational review is completed. Personnel cost has been reduced by R11,018,925, translating into a 10.3% reduction in the salary bill.
The ruling DA/Cope Coalition has decided that the current poor economic conditions and the dire financial position of the Bitou community at large call against a salary increase for Councillors. This decision makes an additional R421,358 available to the Mayoral Intervention Fund (MIF).
The original budget provision for special programs was consolidated into the MIF vote, amounting to R2,683,248, to be utilised for the expanded public works program and other interventions that are deemed necessary to address the current poverty related needs of indigent households in Bitou.
The original budget provided for traffic management income of R3.25m, but had to be shrinked to R1.1m. This discrepancy led to a decision by Booysen to have the traffic management contract entered into by the former Municipal Manager, the recently convicted Lonwabo Ngoqo, investigated.
The original budgeted services income was found to be overstated, and a downward adjustment of 8.47%, or R2.1m, was necessary.
Deon Lott’s poor financial management record in Bitou continues to make a mockery of his ANC machined appointment in Oudtshoorn. Lott’s premier qualification appears to be his ANC atunement. And Oudtshoorn’s ratepayers are the losers.
In his closing remarks tabling the budget, Booysen said that the ruling coalition has made a valiant effort to correct the unrealistic original budget approved by the previous regime.
He said that the ruling coalition plans to turn Bitou into an engine of growth and economic development by delivering sustainable services to all.
Future budgets, said Booysen, will be drafted for the creation of an open opportunity society for all.
“We must thus ensure that this municipality is managed efficiently and effectively and services will be rendered to all at a sustainable level”, he concluded.
DA National Spokesperson, Mmusi Maimane, yesterday issued a statement to the effect that DA municipalities are best in SA for financial management.
Maimane said that Cape Town was rated best metro for financial management and that the difference between Cape Town and Joburg is like night and day.
“DA-run municipalities have scored the highest in the latest Ratings Afrika Municipal Financial Sustainability Index (MFSI)”, the statement claims.
Ratings Afrika defines financial sustainability as:
“The financial ability to deliver services, develop and maintain the infrastructure required by its residents without unplanned increases in rates and taxes or a reduction in the level of services and the capacity to absorb financial shocks caused by natural, economic and other adversities without external financial assistance.”
Midvaal, the only DA-governed municipality in Gauteng, was ranked the best municipality in the province by Ratings Afrika. This is the latest in a string of accolades for Midvaal that includes awards for job creation, service delivery and quality of life.
Johannesburg was rated the worst-performing metro in the country with a ranking of 26 index points. DA-governed Cape Town, by contrast, was rated the top performing metro with a ranking of 63 index points.
Booysen’s reference to the “open opportunity society for all” is the DA mantra and perhaps needs be revisited here…
“Open”, stands for a society in which people have the right to be themselves and follow theirown path in life. An open society is founded on a bill of rights, the rule of law, democratic decision making, transparency, accountability and tolerance.
“Opportunity”, stands for a society in which people are given the means to use their rights and improve their circumstances so that they can live lives they value. The state recognises its duty to do for people what they cannot be expected to do for themselves. We believe this includes creating opportunities for redress. We cannot, and do not, ignore the legacy of apartheid. At the same time, we believe every citizen must take responsibility for using the opportunities provided.
“For all”, stands for a society which truly belongs to all who live in it, in which all South Africans – regardless of the colour of their skin or the circumstances of their upbringing – have the same rights and access to the opportunities that they need to improve their lives. In a society for all, redress of past discrimination is essential, and is aimed at those who still suffer the effects of that discrimination.
Motherhood and apple pie. Yet again. The proof, and even I think I’m taking the metaphor too far here, will be in the pudding.
Enough with the promises; results pray!