Budget meeting held at the Moorton Hall

Disappointment was expressed by councillors about the 2018/2019 financial budget for the area of Chatsworth. A meeting was held last week to inform rate payers about the plans for the 2018/19 financial year.

Councillors who attended the meeting shared their views on the budget. Ward 73 Councillor, Ronnie Pillay, said, “Chatsworth is always been ignored, look at the service delivery that they received. The children in Chatsworth are forced to pay school fees yet it should be free schooling, and the poor state of infrastructure needs to be addressed.”

Ward 71 Councillor, Sharon Hoosen, expressed her concerns, “The budget meeting that took place last Wednesday, was totally disappointing to the ratepayers who took time out to attend. A brief capital budget for each ward was sent through, it is clear that not much was thought about the needs of Chatsworth as a whole was considered.”

Hoosen added that “Chatsworth needs funding to upgrade the ailing infrastructure” and that “funding is needed towards proper electricity infrastructure to resolve the issue of illegal connections”. She mentioned that many roads in Chatsworth were not upgraded and have brick structures and that the Chatsworth precinct needs an upgrade. Hoosen referred to other issues including the upgrade and maintenance of halls and stadiums, the Parks and gardens department, DSW, roads, and the Mobeni Heights Crematorium issue, which remains unresolved. “The Democratic Alliance (DA) has received the mandate of the community not to support the budget. We will review the mandate from other wards in eThekwini and make a decision on a way forward,” said Hoosen.

African National Congress (ANC) Ward 17 Councillor, Cedrick Khwela, said that “the money allocated isn’t enough”. “Money has been allocated for Chatsworth, but it’s not a true reflection of what is needed. Few things have been covered, such as the housing project and two new roads. However, this isn’t enough. Parks and gardens need more equipment, houses that have been built many years ago; their drainage system needs to be fixed. Certain areas should be developed to avoid land invasion,” he said.

Minority Front (MF) Public Relations Councillor, Jonathan Annipen, said, “The budget allocation to Chatsworth, like other Indian areas, is very dismal. It is a smack in the face of the Indian community. The poor, marginalised and disadvantage remain sidelined by these allocations. How this community will benefit is to be seen.”

EThekwini Municipality’s deputy head of communications, Mandla Nsele, said, “The official Draft Budget/IDP consultations which began on 19 April were held at eight regional hearings covering the whole of the eThekwini Municipal Area, convened by the Mayor Zandile Gumede. “The DA then requested Ward Committee hearings that were approved by
the Executive Committee but the Councillors were to convene and facilitate the meetings
and Treasury were to provide information as per the relevant wards. This was communicated to the DA. Regrettably the DA submitted that they wanted to interrogate the budget with officials which resulted in Treasury having to withdraw as the budget is a participatory process that is led by political leadership with support from the officials. Treasury have kept the speakers and mayor’s office fully informed of the circumstances.”

Road shows, which are held at different areas of the city by the municipality, are done to inform residents of 2018/19 financial year. The road show for the Chatsworth area, took place at the King Zwelentini Stadium last month.