The article, ANC says DA underspent in Cape Town (July 20) refers. It is regrettable that your well-regarded publication found it fit to publish the false and misleading accusations by the African National Congress (ANC) regarding the City of Cape Town's spending of the budget. The simple fact is that it used an outdated and no longer valid budget with which to make its calculations. This is a fundamental and glaring mistake and results in every single one of its claims being without fact or credibility.

Let me state categorically that the reported percentage spend is in terms of the only legally permissible and logical manner. When reporting such numbers to council, the requirement of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) is that reporting must be against the most recent, approved budget. The MFMA defines an approved budget as one that has been "approved by a municipal council . and includes such an annual budget as revised by an adjustments budget." It is also the practice of national government to report its results against the revised budget.

The fact is that if any project's allocation is cut in an adjustments budget, there is no authority left to spend any higher amount and such spend would be unauthorised and illegal.

For the record, the preliminary results indicate that the City of Cape Town spent R4,17bn of our capital budget, comprising 91,4%. This is a singularly impressive achievement. In the new financial year, this administration has adopted a very ambitious capital budget of R6bn, which is a record for the City and is also the highest capital budget of any city in SA this year.

While it will be a challenge to the city organisation to achieve this target, we continue to push the envelope on delivery to ensure the on-going economic growth of the city and the provision of better living standards of all our citizens, especially those in our city most in need of assistance.

Alderman Ian Neilson

Executive Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Cape Town