DA, Internet censorship , films , social media

Africa Check pounces on the DA’s ‘failed math’

In a recent response to the DA’s claim that the City Of Cape Town directed 67% of its annual budget to the poor, Africa Check decided to do some snooping to see if Tannie-Z was cooking the books.

DA, Internet censorship , films , social media

After contacting the DA and eventually being sent the correct memorandum and breakdown for the 2014/2015 Budget period.  Africa Check concludes that since the breakdown only includes the Service Delivery Budget, and not other departments such as Energy, Environment and Spatial Planning (etc), the actual percent spent would drop to 49.4%, if it was calculated as a ratio of the total available budget (approximately R 35 billion).

However, one comment on the article insists that even the 49.4% figure is tenuous, and outlines the difficulty in arriving any accurate idea of the much the City Spends. Dirk de Vos explains, that R35 billion is ‘misleading’ since approximately R11.3 billion can attributed to the sale  and distribution of electricity – which if removed, and only the surplus generated from electricity operations added back, would reduce the available spend to R26 billion, which would yield 65% (spent on the poor), if it were viewed as the total available spend for the city.

Another argument is that to include other departments in the total available spend, would essentially amount to ‘comparing apples with oranges’, and would belie any reasonable inference that could be drawn on the effectiveness of the City’s spend on poorer and disadvantaged people. Because of this, it might not be too unreasonable to use only the service delivery budget in their calculations.

More worrying, however, is that Africa Check were able to ascertain that the City’s and the Departmental figures were generally inconsistent. This could be attributed to the fact that the line department figures are interpreted in light of the “respective understanding of the utilisation of their resources”. Ultimately,  even if it is difficult to estimate appropriate per departmental spend, there should at least be a disclaimer about the total veracity of any claim, especially if it is to be used for electioneering purposes.