A petition has been launched by the DA in ward 31, in which it rejects the budget allocated by the city to the ward.

Calling for community members to mobilise around the petition, Ward 31 Cllr, Chris Pappas, said that less than R4.5million had been allocated from 2017 to 2020 for capital projects within the ward. Additionally, he said the city had removed the R2.4 million annual budget allocated to a councillor for Community Infrastructure Projects (CIP).

According to Pappas, these CIP funds were meant for urgent infrastructure repairs where there is unforseen expenditure.

“The budget is an insult to our community,” he said. “Our people pay rates diligently yet our money is drained away to fund nonsensical things.” Speaking about the public participation process of the budget, Pappas explained that the city went to all 110 wards across the city. These budget hearings are intended to hear the inputs and needs of the community and the city then considers these needs and include them in the budget. However, Pappas said none of these inputs were included.

“We have huge challenges,” he continued, listing the resurfacing of Randles Road, pedestrian safety of Rippon Road, addressing sewage issues of Lacey Road informal settlement as well as tackling the fact that Georgehill has not been electrified.

“West Road is in a disastrous state and the storm water issues throughout the ward is precarious,” he said. “Not to mention the dire need to improve the resources of our metro police, who only have two vehicles. However, we find ourselves neglected once again despite having given our inputs via the official channels. I even went so far as to compile a thorough document of needs that I gave to the city.”

Comment from eThekwini Municipality was not forthcoming at the time of going to press. Residents wanting to have the petition can email ward31pa.assistant@gmail.com