Service delivery tops budget

 

MMC for finance Geoffrey Makhubo presents the 2012/13 budget (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)MMC for finance Geoffrey Makhubo presents the 2012/13 budget (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)

ABOUT R37.6-billion will be spent in the 2012/2013 financial year, R33.4-billion of which will be used for operational expenditure; R4.2-billion will be used for capital projects.

The budget was intended to ensure continuous service delivery and the extension of essential services to all areas of the municipality, said the portfolio head of finance, Geoffrey Makhubo. The City, along with the private sector, would invest about R100-billion over the next 10 years in infrastructure development projects in an attempt to create jobs and expand economic development.

Makhubo said the City's immediate priority was to remedy its financial health and rebuild cash reserves to improve its capacity to invest. It wanted to increase investment in economic infrastructure in collaboration with the Presidential Infrastructure Commission and the private sector.

He delivered Joburg's 2012/2013 budget on Wednesday, 23 May under a marquee erected on the Metro Centre Piazza – breaking with the tradition of the mayor delivering the budget.

City Power would be allocated R12.6-billion for operational expenditure and R953-million for capital projects to improve the quality of supply and service. The money would be invested in electricity infrastructure to reduce technical and non-technical losses in electricity, new connections and public lighting. There would be more emphasis on demand side management and the installation of smart meters.

Joburg Water

About R5.8-billion would be allocated to Joburg Water as operational budget and about R728-million as capital budget, which would be used to mop up water losses and to repair and maintain the City's water network. Water provision would also be extended in informal settlements to improve basic sanitation and response times for service failures.

Speech

Read the full budget speech presented by member of the mayoral for finance Geoffrey Makhubo here.

Pikitup would receive about R1.33-billion for operations and R54-million for capital expenditure. The money would be directed to thwarting illegal dumping, improving refuse collection and cleaning streets. The City said initiatives to promote recycling and separation at source would be implemented in Orange Farm, Zondi, Ivory Park, Diepsloot and Waterval.

The Johannesburg Roads Agency was allocated R274-million for capital expenditure and R548-million for its operational budget. The money would be used to repair and maintain roads, bridges and storm water systems to avoid further deterioration.

Video

MMc Geoffrye Makhubo presents the City's budget for the financial year 2012/13 at the Metro Centre in Braamfontein. Watch video.

About R234-million was assigned to the Johannesburg Social Housing Company to continue its work on projects such as the City Deep mixed housing development, new rental stock in Fleurhof, hostel redevelopments in Anthea, Selby and Orlando Ekhaya, and the Dobsonville social housing project.

The Johannesburg metropolitan police department received about R1.64-billion for crime prevention, traffic management and by-law enforcement. The money provided for the deployment of 10 metro police officers per ward to intensify by-law enforcement.

Health and social development was allocated R677-million. About R7-million would be diverted to the Food Resilience Programme, which aims to ensure food security for the indigent.

Housing

Turning to housing, that department was allocated about R401.6-million for operations and R529.7-million for capital expenditure. The bulk of the capital allocation was from the Urban Settlement Development Grant and the focus would be on road and storm water management, infrastructure renewal and new bulk infrastructure in Fleurhof, Kanana Park, Kliptown, Lakeside, and the Lehae and Lufhereng mixed income developments.

An operational budget of R780-million was allocated to the department of community development to support schools and lifelong learning, and sports and recreation development programmes, including the Soweto Theatre, youth and women skills development and learn to swim programmes.

Makhubo said the City would upgrade community facilities such as recreation centres, swimming pools, libraries and sports grounds. "We have also made provision for the City's commitment towards hosting Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] matches in January 2013."

To extend Rea Vaya to new areas, a capital budget of R992.6-million and an operational budget of R855.8 million was allocated to the department of transport. "This project will be a catalyst for improved and integrated public transport as well as contributing to the fundamental pillars of Johannesburg's competitiveness as a city."

Rates and tariffs

Makhubo said the remainder of the budget would be divided between all other City departments and entities. In addition to the budget, he announced that the City would increase rates and tariffs, following an extensive public consultation process with residents and other stakeholders.

Property rates would increase by 6 percent, and water sewerage and sanitation services by 14,5 percent. About 6,7 percent would be added to refuse removal and about 14 percent for electricity services.

He said the hike in electricity tariffs was driven primarily by the cost of bulk purchases from Eskom. "In determining these tariffs we had to ensure that they were affordable yet at the same time contributed to the sustainability of service provision." Most of the tariffs were aligned to the inflation rate, Makhubo explained.

Source: Joburg.org.za