Council considers draft IDP and budget

2015-04-30 17:14

THE Kouga Council has committed itself to maximising service delivery in the new financial year by cutting back on operating costs and pumping more money into capital projects.

The draft annual budget and draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the new financial year, which commences in July, were tabled to Council on Tuesday, March 31.

The documents will now be taken to communities for comment. The schedule of the public hearings, to take place in all wards during April and May, is being finalised and will be communicated through the media, the municipal website and municipal noticeboards.

Executive Mayor Booi Koerat said the theme of the new budget was to save money on the operating budget in order to fund key capital projects identified in the draft IDP.

“Our operating revenue for the new year has been set at R638,741 million. This is an increase of 6% or R37,3 million compared to the 2014/2015 adjustment budget,” he said.

The expected income from rates and service delivery is as follows:

. R149,5m from property rates

. R232,4m from electricity

. R54,8m from water

. R40,2m from sanitation

. R27,9m from refuse removal

The operating expenditure for the new year has been set at R688,285 million, which is 2% more than the 2014/2015 adjustment budget. The total includes an estimated R80 million for depreciation, which is a non-cash item.

Key expenditure items include R200,8 million for bulk purchases and R212,5 million for employee-related costs. Seven percent of the total operating budget will be put towards repairs and maintenance, with a full maintenance plan to be tabled to Council in order to ensure the optimal use of this funding.

The draft capital budget for the new year has been set at R64,56 million, which is an increase of 37% or R17,372 million when compared to the 2014/2015 adjustment budget.

The Mayor said the substantial increase of the municipality’s capital budget would be made possible by saving money on operating costs.

“No additional funding will be made available to directorates in the new year. The ope-rating adjustment budget of 2014/2015 will be carried over as is except salaries and other contractual items. We will also continue to exercise strict control over cost drivers such as overtime and fuel consumption,” he said.

He said that this approach would allow the Council to free up R31 million from internally generated funds. This money will be used for capital programmes, including improved access roads, water, sanitation, electricity and community halls.”

While a provisional list of capital projects has been included in the draft budget, the Mayor cautioned that this list would change depending on inputs received from communities.

“The main focus of this budget has been to maximise service delivery to communities, especially to poor and disadvantaged areas, while eliminating the wastage of resources on unnecessary, non-service delivery items. We look forward to working together with all communities and stakeholders to ensure that we build a better Kouga for all,” he concluded

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