Ugu council approves R1?billion budget

2015-06-11 06:00

UGU District Municipality Council sitting of 28 May has approved the service delivery budget of R1 billion for the 2015/2016 financial year.

The approval of the budget follows the municipality’s public consultation process on the draft budget during the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and budget road shows in all local municipalities in April.

The budget for the financial year commencing on 1 July will cater for the advancement of the district’s core functions of water and sanitations services and infrastructure with an increased capital budget of R395 972 920 and an operational budget of R798 369 801 for the improvement of water and sanitation services, tourism, relief for the poor, and special programmes.

The municipality has allocated R243 069 420 for its action programme for the 2015/2016 financial year. In the critical areas of service delivery, the bulk of the budget has been set aside in the form of a Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) of R249 316 000 to advance all water and sanitation programmes.

An amount of R42 118 204 from the equitable share will ensure the continuation of free basic water provision via communal standpipes and drought relief, among other things.

The municipality will also use the national government’s equitable share grant of R22 206 747 for supplying free basic metered water.

Water tariff subsidisation, due to the difficult economic conditions that the communities of Ugu District are confronted with, has been allocated R98 464 552.

The municipality has reached the 100% ventilated improved pit latrines (VIP) in four municipalities and remains with 30% in two municipalities.

Over and above the achieved milestones, the municipality has commenced with sewer pipeline and sanitation refurbishment projects throughout the district.

An allocation of R5 000 000 has been made available to eradicate sanitation­ backlogs in the local municipalities.

Council has approved the 6.5% water­ and sanitation tariff rate for the urban customers.

The approved tariff increase has dropped by 0.5% from the initial proposed tariff of seven percent during the IDP and budget road shows.

In presenting this budget, the mayor­, Cllr Ntombifikile Gumede, highlighted that the 2015/2016 financial year tariff increases are driven by the following major broad consideration input costs from our suppliers: Eskom­ tariff increase of more than 20% and Umgeni Water tariff increase of above eight percent on bulk water supply. This will have a huge impact on the cost of us providing services.

To achieve the service delivery goals while simultaneously ensuring the municipality adheres to its sole mandate of existence - that of water and sanitation services - the municipality is expected to achieve this through the implementation of the back-to-basics strategy.

“We are ready and capable through this draft budget we presented today, and we continue not only to make a massive contribution to the development of our district, but also to spearhead, champion and co-ordinate such development.

“We recommit ourselves to overcoming the difficult challenges which impede our progress towards a better life for all,” said Gumede during her budget speech to council.




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