This as Mayor Mpho Phalatse went out of her way to stress the importance of the loan for service delivery during a press briefing she held moments before the council session on Wednesday.
One hundred and thirty (130) councilors voted in favor of the loan, while 137 voted against.
In the briefing, Phalatse pointed out that obtaining a commercial loan is a normal practice that had been employed by the city in previous years.
The ANC and minority parties on the council accused the mayor of needing the loan to cover up alleged financial mismanagement, a claim Phalatse denied.
“The misinformation by a corrupt cabal that short-term loans are unacceptable and somehow proves the city is broke is unwarranted and a political power play at best,” she said.
“It must be noted that although illegally installed, the government led by Councilor Dada Morero also recognized the possibility of a cash mismatch that could affect the city, so much so that Councilor Morero and his cabal were prepared to deposit the same report before the board that was signed by the then illegal MMC for finance Margaret Arnolds,” Phalatse continued.
In a statement, Finance MMC Judy Suddaby expressed disappointment, echoing Phalatse’s assertion that opposition advisers are putting political aspirations ahead of service delivery.
“I was disappointed to not vote for the second time, it is short-sighted, especially since the MPG (multi-party government) had made it clear that it was a normal business decision to help the treasury of the City right now. This action confirms that the ANC and the coalition of minority parties do not have the residents and businesses of Joburg at the center of their decision-making.
Meanwhile, the city’s group finance director, Sinovuyo Makamba, assured staff that the city would be able to pay salaries in November and December.