DA budget too vague on drought and poor – ANC WCape

Party says DA provincial govt excels in lame blame game

ANC says DA budget too vague on drought and poor 

6 March 2018

The DA’s silence and vagueness on possible plans over the longer term to ensure enough future water for the Western Cape is a charge against the same DA that failed over decades to plan, manage and respond adequately to the provincial water situation.

The ANC says the DA excels in a lame blame game, but does not prove it takes the present drought serious enough with prudent planning and resources to deal with eventualities. Drought relief to municipalities are mentioned, but no tangible amount or specific government projects are known. The ANC will watch this space.

The DA allowed the water shortage to become a crisis and now fails dismally to prioritise and provide for dealing with the situation in a responsible manner.

Furthermore the DA budget gives too little support to struggling municipalities and the poor people living in rural areas and for rural development. Under the DA very little improvement of the life of people in informal areas is evident.

ANC Western Cape finance spokesperson Carol Beerwinkel says: "The DA’s finance MEC Ivan Meyer uses exaggerated and inflated MTEF figures (over three years) as if that is what will be spent in the province in the new financial year. It is disingenuous to use such DA smoke and mirrors.

There is also too much money hidden as ‘unallocated’ – More than R250 million! This is part of the word salad that is usually dished up by Meyer. It is much of the same and with too many excuses and stories. Meyer says the Western Cape drought and water ‘crisis’ threatens the provincial economy and impacts on agriculture. He says money is allocated for the drought and fires, but does not reveal much – if there is anything to say.

Fires in informal settlements kill mostly scores of mothers and children continuously and this DA government offers no solution to the tragedy and ongoing problem. With the drought worsening, fires are also posing a greater threat.

Too much emphasis is placed on the impact of the drought on agriculture as it is having a dire direct bearing on human life. Not enough is said on what the province will do to preserve, reuse, reduce water usage and retain storm water that now run into the sea.

Too little is made available to combat the growing scourge of subsistence abuse. Despite all sorts of provincial ‘game changers’ the drug problem of the Cape as capital of drug abuse and trade is not addressed adequately.

The ANC thanks the national ANC-led government for contributing most of the money to the Western Cape, which includes the equitable share of R47,5 billion and a further R12 billion for conditional grants on specific projects. The province only brings R3 billion own money to the table. Of the R63 billion budget, staff takes R34 billion – 55% of the total. Altogether 70% of the budget goes to the Cape Town metro area.

The ANC also welcomes the additional R100 million for human settlements (housing) from national government which includes R43 million to buy land for Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay - and on top of that the R50 million grant to enable title deed transfers to beneficiaries in order to clear a backlog in this process. There is also a R2 billion development grant for infrastructure under human settlements.”

Issued by Cobus Grobler on behalf of the ANC W Cape, 6 March 2018