The Nelson Mandela Bay has finally passed its 2018/19 budget, following four failed council meetings. Despite the absence of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and African National Congress (ANC) the council managed to reach an agreement on Wednesday.
The African Independent Congress’s (AIC) only council member, Tshonono Buyeye, voted with the Democratic Alliance (DA) led coalition in support of the budget.
Council started off with several caucus meetings. All eyes were on Buyeye. On Tuesday during council, Buyeye indicated that the party would support the budget.
However, Buyeye failed to return to council chambers to cast his vote, leaving the passing of the budget once again hanging in the balance.
Buyeye says, “The fact that there was a threat of going to administration, for us that was what swayed us more into voting for the budget and we will continue to put pressure on the DA-led coalition to make sure that what we demanded they will consider come budget adjustments.”
Talks between the ANC and AIC regarding the long standing debate on Matatiele, which the AIC want to be incorporated into KwaZulu-Natal, came to the fore.
Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor, Athol Trollip says, “I was very impressed that Mandla Galo of the AIC had put a deadline because the ANC has been stringing the AIC along with this Matatiele issue for years and finally a deadline was put and they didn’t make it.”
The ANC continues to maintain that the budget, although passed is not pro poor.
ANC Causcus leader, Bicks Ndoni says, “There must be a clear stance to address and make sure that there are changes so we need planning for other arrangements. All we are saying is that address the budget if they want our support the money must go to our people.”
Council is expected to resume next week.