The following budget speech was delivered by the Executive Mayor this morning during a full sitting of council. Read more below:
Mr Speaker, in tabling the draft 2018/19 budget today we are also embarking on a process where we are going to communities to ask all residents to have their say and make comments on the proposed budget.
The total proposed budget for the upcoming financial year is a total of R49,1 billion with R39,8 billion on the operating budget and R9,2 billion for capital expenditure.
This is significantly higher than previous financial years where the capital budget was in the region of R6 billion.
One of the key major allocations for the 2018/19 financial year is the R9,8 billion which has been earmarked for water and electricity bulk purchases from the Department of Water and Sanitation and Eskom, respectively.
The major capital expenditure planned in 2018/19 sees R5 billion allocated to Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services (54,9% of the capital budget) R1,7 billion for Transport and Urban Development and R1,1 billion for Energy.
Some of the most significant projects will receive the following allocations:
· R253 million for the dark fibre broadband infrastructure
· R135 million for electrification
· R5 million for CCTV installations
· R21 million for cemetery developments
· R9 million for the Dunoon library construction
· R10 million for the Manenberg Integrated Project
· R12 million for Sport and Recreation facilities upgrades
· R240 million for congestion relief projects
· R105 million for land acquisition
· R90 million for the Paardevlei Transit Orientated Development project
· R90 million for roads rehabilitation works
While investing in new infrastructure for the City to enhance service delivery, we also prioritize repairs and maintenance to existing infrastructure.
For this draft budget, the total repairs and maintenance allocation for the 2018/19 financial year amounts to R3,9 billion to ensure that we optimally preserve our infrastructure.
Mr Speaker, as usual I am happy to table another budget which demonstrates the administration’s pro-poor spending with nearly R3 billion allocated to the social package of services to assist the poorest and most vulnerable in our city.
This has increased from R2,7 billion in our current financial year.
The social package provides financial relief to those who need it most and is in line with our commitment to build a caring city and our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan’s objective to be a more customer-centric and responsive administration.
There are many residents who struggle to make ends meet and, in assisting these residents, the City provides free basic services such as electricity, refuse removal, water, sanitation and rates rebates to residents who qualify.
The basic social package rebates, which are based on property values, are as follows:
· Properties valued at R100 000 and below qualify for 100% rates and refuse removal rebates. These residents also receive 10 500 litres of free water and 7 350 litres of free sanitation.
· In properties valued above R100 000 and below R150 000, these residents get a 100% rates rebate, 75% off refuse removal charges, 10 500 litres of free water and 7 350 litres of free sanitation.
· Properties valued between R150 000 and R400 000 all receive 10 500 litres of free water, 7 350 litres of free sanitation and between 50% and 25% off their refuse removal charges.
· There is also relief with electricity charges for consumers on the Lifeline tariff where consumption is on average 250 units per month, and these residents receive 60 units free per month.
· Where consumption is between 250 and 450 units, these households will receive 25 units free each month.
Apart from property value, the City also uses household income as a factor to determine which residents qualify for assistance.
For instance, where the gross monthly household income is R4 000 or below, these households can get a 100% rates rebate and receive the same benefits as if their properties were valued below R100 000.
The following rates rebates are also granted to residents based on their gross monthly household income:
As a further example of our commitment to helping the most vulnerable, senior citizens and disabled persons’ rates rebate is granted to qualifying applicants where the monthly household income is below R15 000.
These households qualify for 100% rates rebate where the monthly income is up to R4 000 and rates rebates are available at various ranges for household income up to R15 000.
In total, the social package for indigent relief amounts to R2,9 billion with R1,47 billion allocated to indigent relief and R1,49 billion to rates rebates.
Mr Speaker, in terms of the proposed tariff increases for the 2018/19 financial year, the tariffs are set annually to ensure that the City can deliver the level of services required by our residents.
The following tariff increases are being proposed:
The City’s Water and Sanitation Department is also proposing the introduction of a fixed charge for water based on the water meter size as well as seven restriction level tariffs.
The Electricity Department is also proposing moving domestic customers to the home user tariff where properties are valued at above R1 million as well as introducing a fixed service charge of R150 per month for these properties.
Mr Speaker, the ODTP process also saw the establishment of the four quadrants to give effect to the area-based service delivery model as we look to achieve excellence in service delivery and to bring greater parity of services.
I would like to highlight some of the major projects in each area for the 2018/19 financial year.
In Area North:
· R370 million for the Atlantis aquifer project
· R35,1 million for the Postdam Waste Water Treatment Works extension
· R22 million for phase 3 of the Imizamo Yethu housing project
· R22 million for the Dunoon taxi terminus
· R19,1 million for electrification projects
· R17,5 million for street lighting across Area North
· R16,2 million for electrification in Imizamo Yethu
In Area Central:
· R113,7 million for the Bellville Waste Water Treatment Works extension
· R30 million for electrification for backyarders
· R17,7 million for electrification in various areas
· R26 million for road rehabilitation in Bonteheuwel and Uitsig
· R20 million for the Belhar CBD housing development
· R14 million for rehabilitation of Gugulethu concrete roads
· R20 million for road rehabilitation in Heideveld
In Area South:
· R720 million for the Table Mountain Group aquifer project
· R75 million Cape Flats Waste Water Treatment Works refurbishment
· R33 million for the Incremental Development Area and Upgrade of Informal Settlement Project in Sweethomes, Philippi
· R29,6 million for electrification in various areas
· R19,9 million for the new Pelican Park clinic
· R18 million for the Retreat Public Transport Interchange
· R15 million for the Masiphumelele taxi rank
In Area East:
· R500 million for the Zanvliet water reuse plant
· R31 million for the Langverwacht Road: Amandel – Zewenwacht road upgrade
· R30 million for installation of bulk services at Forest Village in Blue Downs
· R28,5 million for the Kalkfontein informal settlement upgrade project
· R19,8 million for the Mfuleni extension 2 development
· R18,6 million for electrification in various areas
· R18 million for the Beacon Valley housing project
Mr Speaker, these are all key projects for these areas which are set to bring great benefits to residents.
I call on all Mayco members, ward councillors and subcouncil chairs to monitor the implementation of these projects and give regular feedback to the communities.
We look forward to working with communities across the city to deliver on our mandate through the implementation of our Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and budget.
In closing, as we embark on the public participation process, I urge residents to get involved and have their say and submit their comments.
Councillors must also ensure that they equip themselves with as much information as possible about projects in their areas so that residents can be properly informed.