RATEPAYERS DISAPPOINTED WITH MM’S REMARKS AT WARD 9 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION MEETING ON DRAFT BUDGET AND IDP
Ratepayers were very disappointed with Knysna Municipal Manager Chetty’s remarks at Thursday’s Ward 9 public participation meeting on the draft budget and IDP. The core topic was the budget, and the property taxes and rates residents could expect to pay in the coming year.
Mr Kamalasen Chetty, however, veered off topic into an irrelevant explanation of the reasons for the comprehensive restructuring of the municipality, lecturing residents like schoolchildren on the ins and outs of an ill-conceived process that appears to have been hastily undertaken for reasons best known to him.
What he failed to mention was that, although the massive restructuring project necessarily impacts the budget, the budget presented to ratepayers town-wide does not take the restructuring into account, even though the restructuring is supposed to be implemented starting very early in this coming budget year!
So ratepayers are essentially being asked to consider and comment on an outdated, inaccurate draft budget. Now, what is the point of that, other than to enable the municipality to tick off its “public participation” boxes?
The entire public participation process on the budget is seriously flawed, and may fail to satisfy applicable law and regulation for that reason alone. (There are other reasons as well, which we will cover in a future post.)
When a member of the audience pointed out the irrelevance of Chetty’s remarks (thank you Sir, whoever you may be), the audience rebelled, and Chetty was hooted down and had to take his seat.