Johann Krog, MPP, DA KZN Spokesperson on Finance & George Mari, MPP DA KZN Spokesperson on COGTA
THE Democratic Alliance regards yesterday’s attack on the party by the ANC, during a joint meeting of the province’s Finance and Co-operative Governance portfolio committees, as an attempt to deflect attention away from the real issue – the as yet unreleased Manase report.
The attack saw ANC MPP’s accuse the DA of being “unpatriotic” and the media of being “highly irresponsible” in reporting on eThekwini’s financial status. The ANC’s rebuke comes several weeks after the DA issued a statement around the municipality’s securing of a R1 billion loan despite the city under-spending on its budget during the previous financial year by a staggering R2 billion.
The DA was criticised by ANC MPP’s for claiming a lack of budget control within the statement on eThekwini. MPP’s added that the irregular expenditure had since been explained and condoned by council. They then denied the same figures, claiming that the eThekwini municipality was one of the finest examples of local government in the country.
The information contained within the DA’s earlier statement is based on figures supplied by the Auditor-General. They are not some figment of the imagination. If the ANC has a problem with the statistics then it should take up the matter with the Auditor-General and his department. Yet another insult at yesterday’s meeting was the refusal to allow opposition party portfolio committee members to attend the press briefing that followed.
These reactions show the lengths that the ANC will go to, to shift the focus from the Manase report and, in particular, the damning comments made by the former City Manager that he was the victim of ongoing pressure to release the report which allegedly names some of the country’s top politicians.
Rather than acknowledging financial maladministration the ANC has decided to shoot the messenger. Instead, they should be taking a long hard look at themselves.