SJC only prove their ignorance

Ernest Sonnenberg
Counsellor Ernest Sonnenberg, Mayoral Committee member for Utility Services. Photo from City of Cape Town website.
Ernest Sonnenberg

The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) has once again proven their obsession with budgets, and their incompetence at interpreting them.

They have based an entire report on misinterpretation of a quarterly report which the Utility Services Directorate presented to the Portfolio Committee meeting. This report only reflects selective line items and it is not representative of the entire City of Cape Town budget.

Had they thoroughly and accurately interrogated the documentation, they would have learnt that part of this line item budget has moved over to the Human Settlements Directorate for the provision of services to backyarders.

In a moment of rare clarity, the SJC, to their credit, admit that the City is making large investment in bulk infrastructure. Our entire infrastructure is designed to assist the poor. This bulk infrastructure provides the necessary backbone for the continual delivery of full-flush toilets in informal settlements and low-cost housing projects and informal settlement upgrade programmes.

The Mayor requested evidence from people who claim that the proposed budget is not pro-poor. She did not call for people who do not understand how to read a budget to make baseless assertions.

We hope that the funders of the Social Justice Coalition now realise that the people they finance do not understand how a budget works.

The author is the Mayoral Committee member for Utility Services. No inference should be made on whether the views expressed in this article reflect the editorial position of GroundUp.

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TOPICS:  Civil Society Government Health Sanitation

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