Public invited to budget consultation

2014-03-21 00:00

DURBAN residents are invited to take part in this year’s budget public consultation process.

The invitation was extended by eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo after the R35,2 billion draft budget for the 2014/15 financial year was unanimously adopted for public consultation at a full council sitting at the Rotary Stadium in KwaMashu on Wednesday.

Nxumalo said that it’s via such consultation that “we discover what the community needs”, adding that this had led to the electrification and the building of ablution facilities in informal settlements and rural areas.

City manager Sibusiso Sithole said the 2014/15 budget is focused on the implementation of a number of flagship projects, job creation and the maintenance of existing infrastructure.

“We have set aside a sizeable portion of the budget for infrastructure maintenance because it is important that we do not allow our infrastructure to deteriorate, as this would be more costly for the city in future.”

Some of the focus areas include the regeneration of the Durban inner city, with plans in place to turn the CBD into a cultural village.

“We are building state-of-the-art facilities like the museum in Cato Manor and the central library. The major beneficiaries are young people who will have access to information, and job searching.”

Sithole said announcements will be made soon regarding further development of the Point area and the creation of a town centre at Umbumbulu to attract investment into the area.

Nxumalo said the consultation process on the budget would be rolled out in different regions of the municipality and councillors would also be encouraged to call ward meetings to discuss the budget.

The budget consists of an operational budget of R29,6 billion and a capital budget of R5,6 billion. The final budget is expected to be approved by council on May 29.

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