Tomorrow, 23 April 2015, hundreds of Khayelitsha residents, together with the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) and Ndifuna Ukwazi (NU) will queue at the Civic Centre to hand over individual submissions on the City of Cape Town’s draft budget for the 2015/2016.
Over the past two weeks over 600 submissions have been collected. This will mark the first time that the Mayor will receive hundreds of direct submissions from poor and working class communities.
Participation is at the heart of democracy. The way that resources are allocated by local government affects everybody’s lives in the most direct ways possible. Participation in the budget process is extremely poor, last year only 37 people made submissions on the draft budget and it is unclear whether any were residents of Cape Town’s poor communities or townships. The City’s budget is released in a form that is extremely difficult to understand and does not provide the information or avenues required to participate meaningfully.
The collection of submissions and the discussions with residents of Khayelitsha over the past weeks have been based on significant research on the Water and Sanitation budget by the SJC and Ndifuna Ukwazi, supported by the International Budget Partnership.
The Municipal Finance Management Act, 56 of 2003, requires that when a budget is tabled it needs to be made public and the local community must be given an opportunity to make submissions. Council must consider these and the mayor is required to respond to the submissions and, where necessary, revise the budget to be considered by council again.
ALL VOICES MUST BE HEARD!
Date: 23 April 2015
Place: Cape Town Civic Centre