By Libuseng Nyaka
CLARENS – The Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality council unanimously adopted the budget for the 2023/24 financial year which was tabled by executive mayor Conny Msibi in record time on May 31 2023 as stipulated by law.
Reacting to the budget, various political parties in Thabo Mofutsanyana threw their weighed behind the budget, except the Democratic Alliance which had some reservations.
On behalf of the governing party, councillor of ANC former mayor of Phumelela local municipality, Tlokotsi Motaung had this to say:
“As the ANC caucus in Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality, we would like to congratulate the executive mayor for presenting a very balanced budget speech. We therefore welcome the budget as presented by the mayor. Those who managed to attend the road shows in our different local municipalities will agree with me, that the budget that the executive mayor has presented this afternoon talks directly to issues that were raised by our communities.
“During this road shows the executive mayor had an opportunity to engage young people, women, people living with disabilities, smmes in the district, farm workers and farmers.”
Motaung said it was during this stakeholders meeting that they were able to learn of the backlog that exits throughout the district in terms of the bucket system toilets eradication, especially in Setsoto local municipality which had the highest with backlogs.
“We want to urge the executive mayor to work with the local mayors to ensure that these buckets are reduced or eradicated.”
Weighing in, Thabo Mofutsanyana’s Freedom Front Plus councillor Charl Kalamer did not only support the budget, but also promised to pray for executive mayor Msibi to successfully implement what he called ‘an excellent budget speech’.
“Executive mayor, thank you very much for this broad speech. I think it is really well done and I wish to commend you having worked with you for over two years and having seen your heart. I like what you are saying right there in the middle when you say ‘think the unthinkable’. There is a quote that I want to refer back to: if you want a different outcome you have to change the input and I am glad we are going in that direction.”
However, Kalamer mentioned some few areas that need to be improved .
“As a party we are a bit apprehended by the budget for the following two reasons: the historical salary account is still way above 60 percent and it needs to come down to 30 percent. Also, jobs must be given to all previously disadvantaged people minority groups, namely the Afrikaans, Indian people, Sothos and Zulu people. Having said all this, mayor, I would like to wish you well in the effort you put in the years to come.”
Before supporting the adoption of the budget, the President of Dikwenkwetla Party of South Africa who is also the chief whip of Maluti-a-Phofung coalition government, criticized the municipality for building for elections not for the next generation.
“There is a budget for another school but immediately after election that school will disappear. That is building for the next elections not building for the next generation. I support the 2023/2024 budget for one reason: for you to talk to your fellow party members and stop giving us problems when we are supposed to pass our budget at the Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality.”
For his part, Setsoto Service Forum’s Pule Mothijoa thanked the executive mayor for the progressive speech.
“The budget talks to our people out there, for the fact that it talks about youth and women; for their businesses and programmes that they do and also include our farmers and people living rural areas. We are happy and because of that I support the budget.”
Economic Freedom Fighters’ Lebohang Mokoakoe said EFF have no reason to reject or not to support the budget.
They were reacting to the executive mayor of Thabo Mofutsanyana’s budget of R191,932,417 for the financial year 2023/2024.
Meanwhile DA councillor Beatrice Campell-Cloete said there is not way DA can accept the budget, calling it ‘let’s eat’.
“Vital servuc3s like water, electricity, sewage and roads are off the menu, which only benefit the few ANC representatives. It is high time for real action that benefits everyone in our district.”
When tabling her budget at Clarens in Dihlabeng local municipality, Msibi said the dudget takes into account that spending must continue to support government’s commitment to broadening service delivery and expanding investment in infrastructure, while taking into cognisance the constrained fiscal environment.
“Fellow councillors are reminded that the economic outlook is, however, constrained by a slow economic growth and impact of the Covid pandemic. Due to lower-than-projected revenue or income, the municipality has adjusted its spending plans as presented in the 2023/2024 annual budget.
“Despite the fiscal challenges of the country and particularly the municipality, we have applied a principle of ‘Thinking the Unthinkable’ and sacrificed where we can, to create a provision for capital programmes to be championed by the Executive Mayor. I am glad to announce that for this coming year an amount of R10 billion is set aside for capital projects to be implemented in the new financial year.”