iLembe council approves 2017/18 adjustment budget

2018-03-21 06:01
PHOTO: suppliedMembers of the executive at the iLembe District Municipality led by Siduduzo Gumede.

PHOTO: suppliedMembers of the executive at the iLembe District Municipality led by Siduduzo Gumede.

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THE iLembe District Municipality council has approved the adjustment budget for the 2017/2018 financial year.

The approval followed the tabling of the mid-year assessment to council presented by Mayor Siduduzo Gumede on January 30.

The assessment was done in accordance with Section 72 of the Municipal Finance Management Act, which states that the accounting officer must make an assessment of the performance of the municipality for the first six months of the financial year. The adjustment budget is proposed as a result of this assessment.

Presenting the item to council, recently appointed chief financial officer Mahendra Chandulal revealed an increase in both the revenue and expenditure budgets.

The original revenue budget was R645 million and it was adjusted to R654 million. The original expenditure budget was R641 million and it was adjusted to R653 million. “The reason for the increase in the operating expenditure and revenue is due to the reclassification of capital grants as operational income and expenditure. Further austerity measures were also applied during the adjustment budget engagement, which resulted in further decrease of expenditure,” said Chandulal.

The municipality adopted the MFMA Circular 82 of March 2016, which relates to cost containment measures that must be implemented to eliminate wasteful expenditure.

This includes the curtailing of overseas trips unless necessary and stands to benefit the country. It also includes further restrictions on conferences, catering, entertainment and social functions. Chandulal also revealed a decrease in the capital budget from R354 720 million to R337 303 million.

He said this was due to the reclassification of capital grants received as operating expenditure. “The full amount of the original allocation has been allocated in the capital and operating budgets,” he said.

Commenting on the budget, Inkatha Freedom Party representative and executive committee member in the district councillor Aubrey Baardman said the IFP is pleased with the budget. “We are happy that the municipal manager and the management committee are working closely with political leadership to ensure that the municipality becomes financially stable,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the Democratic Alliance, caucus leader and executive committee member in the district councillor Madhun Singh said it is important for all households to pay for services.

“As the DA we will be critical in areas that need improvements and we will commend and applaud areas doing well in line with the turnaround strategy. There is no doubt we have a strong political leadership, with the mayor of Ilembe having more than 20 years’ experience and a good financial background. The DA will co-operate and support the council and at the same time play an oversight role in pointing out weakness that needs corrective measures,” he said.

Representing the ANC, party whip and finance portfolio committee chairperson Sandeep Oudhram said the ANC supports the budget. “We note the positive improvement with our revenue collection from 54% to 72% on monthly average. The municipality has, through austerity measures and political oversight, managed to control its expenditure and reduce its historical debt with clear indications of a +30 day cash flow by financial year end,” he said.

Oudhram added: “We are concerned by the high water losses, Illegal connections, ageing infrastructure and standpipes.

“We note the efforts and plans to upgrade the network.”

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