2017/05/25 Thembisa Shologu
The City of Ekurhuleni has set aside R36.6 billion budget for what Finance Member for the Mayoral Committee (MMC) Doctor Xhakaza said was a budget for the people.
Tabling his inaugural Budget Speech on Thursday, MMC Xhakaza the budget supports poorer households while strengthening the provision of services in the region.
The budget is made up of generated revenue of R26.2 billion, grants of R5.4 billion and assessment rates of R5 billion, it is based on an expected growth rate of 0.9% for property rates and refuse removal.
“Our people will be excited to learn that in our quest to accelerate service delivery and improve the standard of living in the region, we have increased the Capital Budget to R6.4 billion for 2017/18, a 23% leap from the 2016/17 adjusted budget which totalled R5.1 billion. We have also set aside a record R20 billion Capital Budget over the next three years.
“No growth rate is provided for water and sanitation based on the water restrictions levies implemented in the 2016/17 financial year that resulted in consumers’ behavioural change including no tariff increases for cemetery and crematoria, library and information services, library auditoriums, use of arts, culture and heritage facilities, and hire of parks,” said Xhakaza.
The city remains committed to providing a package of services for the indigent that includes a 100% rebate on assessment rates, free 100kWh of electricity, free 9kl of water, free indigent burial and special rates for emergency services such as ambulances and fire-fighting. To date there are 47 000 registered indigent households.
“Our people remain in need of proper housing a total of R1 billion is allocated to housing mega projects. The Energy Department will get R718 million to fund projects including the electrification of reblocked informal settlements,” he said.
In addition, to boost its efforts to promote the agriculture sector in our space, the City has invested an amount of R4 million for the development of 120 urban farmers with an additional R15 million allocated in farm infrastructure.
“We are also making a provision of R110 million for the recapitalisation of the Springs Fresh Produce Market and Agriculture over the next three years; R30 million has been allocated in 2017/18 financial year to invest on market access and designs for adding 20 000 square metres of trading floor, a processing unit, retail,
“An additional investment of R80 million over the MTREF will go to the expansion of the infrastructure to cater for distribution and agro-processing enterprises in order to increase trading activities, job creation, food security and farmer market support and revenue generation for the municipality,” said MMC Xhakaza.