DA once again rejects R2.5 billion loan due to ANC/EFF/PA/AL Jamaah coalition’s lack of transparency

Issued by Cllr Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku – DA Johannesburg Caucus Leader
10 Jul 2024 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find an English soundbite by Cllr Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku here

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Johannesburg is deeply concerned at the continued lack of transparency displayed by the City of Johannesburg’s (CoJ) executive.

Yesterday, the City once more tabled a R2.5 billion loan for consideration by the council – thankfully, it failed to pass.

The DA had been very clear that good governance is non-negotiable and it is for this reason that we requested more details to be made available to councillors to make an informed decision.

The DA will continue to vote against this ridiculous loan, with a 15-year repayment period and a grand total of R5.7 billion worth of repayments every chance we get, unless the Executive can furnish council with the information it needs to make informed decisions.

For transparency and for councillors to make an informed decision, we requested that council be furnished with

  • Quarterly Reports;
  • Section 71 reports showing the liquidity of the city, which are being kept from councillors;
  • A comprehensive list of projects at 60% completion to be funded and/or assets to be funded by this loan;
  • Responses with condonation from treasury that this loan can be tabled after the financial year end

Most concerning is that government departments owe entities like City Power  a staggering amount of money. According to the Auditor General’s (AG) report, City Power alone is owed an amount totalling R620 million. Surely collecting these outstanding monies would prevent the City from digging an even deeper financial hole, than the one we find ourselves in.

We feel vindicated with the admission of the Member of the Mayoral committee (MMC) for Finance, Cllr Dada Morero that the budget they tabled in council was in fact, unfunded. We cautioned the City of this very fact at the time.

Putting the City into a debt that will take more than a decade to repay, while there are hundreds-of-millions of Rands outstanding from government departments and big business simply does not make sense. More so, expecting public representatives to vote on an issue without most basic of facts at hand is ridiculous.

The CoJ routinely write off massive debts with zero accountability as to where the money to fill the hole they create will come from, or how they will continue to fund the budget.

It is clear that this loan is an attempt by the executive to place a bandage over the gaping self-inflicted wound that is the City’s finances. The DA will not be party to desperate decision making.

We urge the City to come clean on the state of the city’s finances and hold officials to account for the loss in revenue in city owned entities. Our goal will remain good governance and effective management of the City’s entities.