Kouga Budget meeting ends in chaos

Mayor Koerat  at his inauguration.
Mayor Koerat at his inauguration.
The public meeting held last night to give residents the opportunity to have input into the 2013/14 Kouga Municipal budget ended in absolute chaos at the Pellsrus Community Hall.

Residents already angered that the meeting did not start at 6 pm as advertised, were further incensed when the Kouga Mayor, Booi Koerat, was not in attendance.

There was also anger that the venue of the meeting had changed three times in one week and the public were not properly informed about when the meeting was actually going to be held.

Mr. Sydney Fadi chaired the meeting in the absence of the Mayor and Finance Portfolio chairperson Vernon Stuurman.

The Chief Financial Officer of the municipality, Ms Carleen Burger was also not present at the meeting.

The legitimacy of the IDP and budget meeting was called into question by residents who felt that in the absence of an Organogram within the Kouga Municipality, the meeting was not properly constituted.

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Mr. Fadi explained that the question surrounding the Organogram was the subject of a court case and that he was acting in his capacity as the Municipal Manager and as such, the meeting was legitimate.

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Residents were unhappy with the proposed 13 % increase in property taxes as well as the proposed R 1 million spend on new Council chambers.

The meeting became more and more heated and when a motion of no confidence was proposed from the floor, chaos erupted and the majority of the residents present walked out, while the Municipal officials packed up their computers and overhead projector.

The proposed budget, which is being opposed by the Democratic Alliance, will appear before Council before the end of May.

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