ETHEKWINI Municipality’s R45 billion draft budget for the 2017/18 financial year, tabled by Mayor Zandile Gumede on 30 March, is a budget for the people which aims to drive radical economic transformation as well as fast-track service delivery in the City.
Mayor Gumede said she was humbled to table her maiden draft budget.
“I am the peoples Mayor and this is the people’s budget. Everything we do is for our people who have chosen us to lead this City. This is a year of deepening unity and the year of celebrating President O.R. Tambo,” she said.
The budget is comprised of a capital budget of R7.5bn, where approximately 75 percent of the capital budget is allocated to meeting infrastructure and household services needs as well as addressing backlogs over the medium term.
About R 2.4bn of this is directed to new housing developments and interim servicing of informal settlements. The increase of the 2017/18 proposed operating budget from R34.9bn to R37.5bn, is mainly due to the cost of addressing service delivery backlogs, the cost of bulk purchases of water and electricity, repairs and maintenance of infrastructure.
“I believe that this budget delivers on the promises we have made at the start of our term in office on 23 August last year. This draft budget gives us impetus to strategically implement the key catalytic projects which are set to create thousands of investment and employment opportunities. This is in keeping with the Municipality’s new Radical Economic Transformation Framework, launched earlier this year,” Mayor Gumede said.
The proposed tariff increases for the 2017/18 financial year are:
Domestic water 15%;
Business water 17%;
Refuse removal 9.9%;
With the City’s commitment to fast-track service delivery and provide basic services our free basic services package, pensioners, child-headed households, disability grantees and the medically boarded are exempt from paying rates on the first R460 000 of their property value. Residential Properties valued up to R 230 000 (previously R 185 000) will be exempt from paying rates.
All other properties valued above R 230 000, for the first R 120 000 of value-no rates will be charged.
“Both political and administrative officials will embark on a public participation process on the budget to allow every resident in our community the opportunity to scrutinise the budget, engage with us on the budget and provide us with their input before the budget is finalised,” added Mayor Gumede.
Regional budget hearings will be held during the months of April and May. Details of these hearings will be published soon.
Ethekwini Municipality News
Darul Ihsan Media Desk