Residents’ Association express dismay over budget proposals

FC Bester chatting to Councillor Lucky Khumalo

In his reaction to the draft budget, FC Bester of the Endumeni Residents’ Association, described the proposals as a ‘thumbsuck’ budget.
“There are many discrepancies. The Mayor was over 30 minutes late for the roadshow meeting in the Moth Hall as was the master of ceremonies. It is unacceptable that our politicians treat us with such disdain yet want us to pay for their expenses,” an irate Mr Bester told the Courier.
He took issue with the stats sheet handed out at the meeting that showed that Endumeni’s population as 64 000. “The real figure is 76 000. A bit of research would have shown that. Also, why do the stats refer to the African population? That sounds racist. Do the other groups not count?”
He said he was concerned that the other discrepancies in the figures presented included ‘other expenditure’ as R19 million.

Modest tariff increases proposed by new municipal budget
“Yet when you look at the full budget on the municipal website, the figure is shown as R50 million. Further scrutiny of the budget shows a wish to buy a camera for R20 000, 55 computers for R720 000 and a loudhailer, speaker system for R90 000. We could not get answers as the meeting started late.”
He was also concerned that security expenses are to increase from around R8 million to R12 million.
Asked about the modest increase in tariffs, Mr Bester said these were meaningless as business owners, who pay the bulk of rates, are yet get to feedback of ways to tackle the huge increases in rates following the re-evaluation of properties.
“The Council needs to go back to the table and look closely what is happening in our town.
“There is a breakdown between the people who pay enormous rates and taxes and those who spend it. Let’s work together to make Endumeni town of the year.”

  AUTHOR
Northern KZN Courier

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