Ward 102 councillor David Potter gives insight on City’s challenges and budget allocations

Ward 102 councillor David Potter

 

Ward 102 councillor David Potter recently attended the Region B cluster ward public feedback meeting, and gave some feedback.

“Since 23 August 2016, we have been on a rollercoaster ride. Let me start off by saying this ride has not been easy. What Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba and the City have found in terms of maladministration, lack of performance and delivery, corruption and the like is huge,” said Potter.

Potter provided a glimpse into some of the challenges the City faces:

  • R7.5 million lost to fraud, theft and corruption at the Joburg Fresh Produce Market.
  • Nine officials were arrested on 28 February this year for theft. This after an investigation which had begun in November 2015 and yielded little results.
  • Forensic reports which had been concluded during the previous administration, which had not been actioned on.
  • Fraud has been uncovered at the Joburg Theatre.
  • The Johannesburg Metro Police Department has identified 106 corrupt officials across the City.
  • One of the most senior officials in the South African Revenue Department has been suspended.
  • Multiple officials from the Sports and Recreation Department are currently on suspension.
  • A forensic audit is currently being done on various tenders at City Power.
  • KMPG is working across the City conducting various forensic audits.
  • Multiple City officials’ laptops and cellphones have been confiscated by forensic units.

Potter explained, “Councillors get calls, WhatsApps and emails every day regarding the perceived lack of service delivery. Whilst the residents are not wrong, what needs to be understood is that to turn around a City that has a budget of some R52 billion annually, will take many, many months.

Read Service delivery bar to be raised in City of Joburg

“What is needed are complete revisals of the City budgets, the way City officials think and [act] and, in fact, a complete overhaul of how the City works,” continued Potter.

A municipality can only change their annual budget once in the financial year, at the midpoint of the year. The City of Johannesburg submitted their adjusted budget on 23 February, which received full approval in Council. While this is not the ultimate budget, it certainly goes a long way in ensuring a better run and more focused City, said Potter.

“The City of Joburg is lucky to have an executive mayor who has an immediate business focus,” he continued.

Some of the planned budget allocations are as follows:

  • 1 841 housing units will be completed this financial year
  • R41 million will be allocated to the electrification of various informal settlements
  •  R2 million will be allocated to the construction of homeless shelters
  • R31 million will be allocated to the employment of an additional 1 500 Metro police officers
  • R6 million will be allocated to the re-cabling of key intersections in the City
  • R60 million will be allocated to the Johannesburg Roads Agency for material for pothole repairs
  • R51 million for the purchase of additional buses for Metro Bus
  • 5 clinics across the City will have extended operating hours

The City’s internal investigation unit led by General Shadrack Sibiya will receive R38 million to capacitate and allow for further and much-needed forensic investigations

R5 million will be been allocated for the completion of the City’s skills audit.

At the end of March, the City will approve a full budget of around R52 billion to service the needs of the City under the new administration.

The Council has approved the absorption of more than 10 City entities to the core of the City of Johannesburg. This is a move that will take around 18 months to complete. At the end of this process, there will no longer be City Power, Joburg Water and the like. All these state-owned City entities will become departments of the City, and report directly to the executive mayor and not their board of directors.

Read Ward 102 updates

“In another positive move, next week, all City-owned companies will have their annual general meetings. We look forward to seeing the deadwood removed from these boards in the interest of service delivery to the residents of this City,” Potter said.

“I, as well as my colleagues, are passionate about the City, passionate about service delivery and we need you to partner with us on this long roller coaster ride.”

Are you happy with service delivery in your neighbourhood? Let us know at @Sandton_News 

  AUTHOR
Michael Butler

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