Kouga council approves budget

2018-06-28 06:00
R1-million has been approved on the capital budget for the upgrade of the Kouga Cultural Centre at Humansdorp.                                           Photo:SUPPLIED

R1-million has been approved on the capital budget for the upgrade of the Kouga Cultural Centre at Humansdorp. Photo:SUPPLIED

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THE Kouga Council approved the municipality’s operating and capital budgets for the new financial year at a meeting on 31 May.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said Council’s aim had been to table a pro-poor budget and that great strides had been made towards achieving this. The municipality’s new financial year starts on 1 July.

In terms of the new budget consumers can expect to pay 7,5% more for property rates from July.

The tariffs for water will increase by 11%, sanitation by 9%, refuse collection by 8%, electricity by an average of 7,57% and the Environmental Management Fee (EMF) by 6%.

  • The total operating expenditure for 2018/2019 will amount to R796,785-million, which is a 5,48% increase when compared to the 2017/18 adjustment budget.
  • The total operating revenue for 2018/2019 is R753,717-million, which represents an increase of 9,39 % or R64,69-million when compared to the adjustment budget.
  • Funding for the operating budget will be obtained from various sources, the major contributors being services such as electricity, water, sanitation, the EMF and refuse collection (53,08 %), property rates (23,45 %) and grants and subsidies from national and provincial government (16,4%).
  • The new budget makes provision for staff costs of R 272,8 million. This amounts to 34,24 % of the total operating expenditure, well within the norm set by National Treasury.
  • Repairs and maintenance for the 2018/19 year is budgeted at R37-million, equating to 4,65 % of the total operating budget. While this percentage is below Council’s target of 8%, the money will go where it is needed most, with at least 71% of the allocation to be spent on infrastructure assets.

Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks has vowed to cut back on “lavish spending” to maximise the funding available for service delivery.

Delivering his maiden budget speech, Hendricks said that he and the Speaker would not be receiving new vehicles or drivers.

The Mayor will drive his own car, the Speaker will drive his own car and there will be no bodyguards,” he said. “I have also reduced the number of Mayoral Committee members from six to five to save money and bring about a lean but more effective committee.”

Every effort will be made to secure additional funding to continue upgrading infrastructure and expanding services to all communities.

This was said by Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks at the tabling of the 2018/2019 municipal budget. The Mayor said unused and underutilized land had already been identified and that plans for its sale were in place to secure extra money for development.

A Revenue Enhancement Committee has further been established and will be meeting weekly to identify and implement ways to boost the municipality’s income without placing undue burden on residents and ratepayers.

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