Wolfgat Sub-council had 63 community-based organisations making representations on the City of Cape Town’s 2018/2019 draft budget.
Last year only 1 876 Capetonians commented on the current budget but this year 2 750 residents had their say during ward-based focus group sessions between April 9 and 20.
Willem Doman, DA Proportional Representative (PR) councillor, noted at the monthly sub-council meeting on Thursday August 16 that the community overwhelmingly rejected the proposed tariff increases.
However, he said in his organisational experience, especially in government, if there is no increase for services then the organisation will run into trouble.
“You’ve got inflation that erodes the financial ability of the municipality and one can have an opportunistic political party looking forward, at the elections, to come up with some things, which are not viable,” he said.
Mr Doman said he was glad the City was responsible in doing what it could, especially with the water tariffs.
“You see comments in the media that we’re making money on it. It’s not true. We’re not making a cent at the moment because we have to keep in check the whole system, while we are only selling very little water,” he said.
He said once the drought is over and more water is sold, the tariffs could be decreased.
“At the moment we are one of the few municipalities in the country that is running their finances very well.
“We’re responsible and therefore we have no other alternative as to come with these tariff increases,” he said.
Thulani Dasa, also a DA PR councillor, said the community should be encouraged to participate in discussions on the municipality’s budget.
Danny Christians, Ward 81 councillor (Rocklands and parts of Portland), said the budget and the City’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) were out of sync.
Mr Christians cited a letter he had from the Rocklands Ratepayers’ Association, which called for development of the coast but this was not reflected in the budget comments.
“My issue is if things are not in the IDP, then how do you address the needs of the people by means of asking the people, what must be in the budget,” he said.
He said the IDP is a city-wide plan but there is no budget for community specific projects.