‘MAYOR HAS NO SAY’: Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson

Cape Town residents need not worry about the proposed new water tariffs, says deputy mayor Ian Neilson, as the DA caucus is in control of the budget.

While Mayor Patricia de Lille has returned to her office, Neilson says the proposed changes to the initial budget will stick.

On Tuesday, Judge Patrick Gamble suspended the cessation of De Lille’s DA membership, reinstating her as a DA member and mayor of Cape Town.

She was axed following a radio interview in which she said she would walk away from the DA once her name was cleared.

After she was ousted last week, the DA caucus met to discuss the budget tabled by De Lille which proposed tariff hikes for property rates by 7.20%, electricity by 8.14%, water and sanitation by a whopping 26.96%, and refuse by 5.70%.

Several DA sources told the Daily Voice “unaccounted for millions” found in the Transport Development Authority budget has been rerouted to bring down the tariffs.

On Monday, Neilson said the overall increase in the department’s budget requirement has been reduced from 26.96% to 19.9%.

The property rates increase is also proposed to be lowered from 7.2% to 6.5%.

“This has been achieved primarily by rephasing the New Water Programme, including the savings which will result in the current financial year,” he said.

A source told the Daily Voice: “The statement follows the scrapping of the aunty’s (De Lille’s) special projects (in the TDA). They rerouted like R350 million.”

The source said no one knows what these special projects are.

Neilson says the new budget will be tabled on 30 May where councillors will vote.

Asked whether De Lille’s return changes anything, Neilson says: “The budget is completely unaffected by her coming back. The DA caucus is in control and the DA caucus has made this decision and this is what we are going to move forward with”.

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