On Wednesday, the DA firmly rejected the “Let’s Eat” budget presented by the Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality (TMDM) that prioritises staff and functions over essential service delivery to residents.
The DA’s primary concern lies in the budget’s significant allocations for catering and event promoters, while essential items like literacy programs, cemeteries, and combating communicable diseases such as cholera and diphtheria receive no funding.
Catering will cost the District R7 612 624, while event promoters will cost R6 500 850. The salary bill for employees between 2024 and 2026 is R220 061 041. The only capital project anticipated in the budget is the R10 million road and bridge construction.
For years promises were made to regain control over crucial services such as water supply, power supply, and sewage systems. However, the district is grappling with outstanding debt to Eskom and persistent water shortages that deprive residents of these basic human rights for extended periods.
Similar intentions were expressed regarding Fire and Emergency services, but none of these commitments have materialised. Fire stations in Warden and Bethlehem are deteriorating, and the QwaQwa Fire Station currently has only one operational fire truck to serve multiple areas. The district has failed to conduct a road audit in five years, leaving district roads in disrepair. Waste management and dumping sites under local municipal control have collapsed, while cemeteries have become havens for vagrants and criminals, with no clear plan for long-term solutions.
Tourism facilities are non-existent, and economic growth is stagnant, with businesses and factories closing down.
Where the DA governs, service delivery and economic growth take precedence during the budgeting process, with community needs at the forefront. The party remains committed to holding the municipality accountable for the responsible use of taxpayers’ money.