Draft budget for 2016/2017 tabled

2016-03-31 06:00

THE draft municipal budget and draft revised Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the 2016/2017 financial year were approved by the Kouga Council on Tuesday.

Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas said the drafts were working documents that would be taken to the public for comment in April. The final documents will then be tabled to Council before the end of May for approval and implemented from July 1.

The draft budget, as tabled to Council, proposes a 9% hike in property rates. The proposed tariff increase for water, sanitation and refuse is also 9% while an average increase of 7,64% has been proposed for electricity and 6% for the Environmental Management Fee.

Finance Portfolio Councillor Vernon Stuurman said the proposed increases would now be debated at other platforms, including the Finance Standing Committee, before being finalised. “The debate that we, as politicians, need to have is whether these increases are affordable to our residents, regardless of race, age or where they live.”

According to the draft, it is anticipated that the municipality’s operating revenue for the new financial year will increase to R637,9-million. This represents an increase of 8,19% or R48,3-million when compared with the 2015/2016 adjustments budget.

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Operating expenditure has been put at R685,8-million, which includes a provision for depreciation and asset impairment of R83,1-million. Other major operating expenditure items are employee-related costs (34%), bulk electricity purchases (27,61%) and repairs and maintenance (5,25%).

The draft capital budget for the coming financial year has been put at R67,9-million. This is almost 35% less than the 2015/2016 adjustments budget, with the decrease attributed to the completion of most of the bulk projects implemented in partnership with the Department of Human Settlements.

Highlights of the proposed capital budget include R6-million for the electrification of Ocean View, R14,6-million and R13,3-million respectively for sewer upgrades at Kruisfontein and Patensie, R5,5-million for the new community hall at KwaNomzamo, R4,3-million for the upgrade of sport facilities, R3,7-million for internal sewer works at Wavecrest, R2,8-million for two refuse compactor trucks and R1-million for a mesh truck to improve the maintenance of parks and open spaces.

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