Record budget for Joburg

By Drum Digital
27 May 2014

Joburg's combined operational and capital budget has grown to a record R47.1 billion.

The City of Johannesburg's combined operational and capital budget has grown to a record R47.1 billion, after exceeding R40bn last year, finance MMC Geoffrey Makhubo said on Tuesday.

"The massive increase in this budget bears testimony to the determination of the city to confront the social deficits in various areas and for new infrastructural development around the Corridors of Freedom," he said.

He told reporters in Braamfontein -- ahead of the presentation of the budget -- that Johannesburg was financially in its best shape yet.

"The city has a healthy cash balance, annual surpluses, our investments in strategic infrastructure and the reports from the auditor general," he said.

"...We built up substantial cash reserves through more stringent cash management. Despite monthly expenditure of R2.2bn, the city has monthly cash balance in excess of R5bn."

The city's capital expenditure over the next three years would equal R32bn, with R10.4bn budgeted for the 2014/15 financial year.

It was also on track to invest R100bn in infrastructure over a 10-year period, with the infrastructure capital budget having grown from an initial R4.5bn in the 2012/13 financial year to R10bn this coming financial year.

"This is a key tool for improved service delivery which gives the city the ability to change the urban environment for the better through infrastructural development," he said.

Regarding rates and tariffs, electricity would increase by an average of 7.05 percent, which would provide the city with revenue of R13.6bn.

"Registered indigents will continue to receive free electricity, free water, and free sanitation in terms of Johannesburg's extended social package," Makhubo said.

"The tariffs for waste removal services will increase by six percent for domestic households and eight percent for businesses and commercial customers."

The proposed increases would generate sufficient revenue to ensure Pikitup could sustain its current service levels and extend services to new areas and housing developments.

Properties valued at less than R200,000 and households registered for the extended social package would continue to receive free refuse removal services.

The property rates tariff would increase by five percent, while water and sewerage tariff increases would be around 8.9 percent.

-SAPA

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