The City of Johannesburg’s combined operational and capital budget has increased to a record R47.1-billion after exceeding R40-billion last year, finance MMC Geoffrey Makhubo said on Tuesday.
“The massive increase in this budget bears testimony to the determination of the City to confront the social deficits in various areas and for new infrastructural development around the Corridors of Freedom,” he said.
He told reporters in Braamfontein – ahead of the presentation of the budget – that Johannesburg was financially in its best shape yet. “The City has a healthy cash balance, annual surpluses, our investments in strategic infrastructure and the reports from the auditor general,” he said.
” … We built up substantial cash reserves through more stringent cash management. Despite monthly expenditure of R2.2-billion, the City has a monthly cash balance in excess of R5-billion.”
The City’s capital expenditure over the next three years would equal R32-billion, with R10.4-billion budgeted for the 2014-2015 financial year. It was also on track to invest R100-billion in infrastructure over a 10-year period, with the infrastructure capital budget having grown from an initial R4.5-billion in the 2012-2013 financial year to R10-billion this coming financial year.
‘Improved service delivery’
“This is a key tool for improved service delivery, which gives the city the ability to change the urban environment for the better through infrastructural development,” he said.
Regarding rates and tariffs, electricity would increase by an average of 7.05%, which would provide the City with revenue of R13.6-billion. “Registered indigents will continue to receive free electricity, free water and free sanitation in terms of Johannesburg’s extended social package,” Makhubo said.
“The tariffs for waste removal services will increase by 6% for domestic households and 8% for businesses and commercial customers.” The proposed increases would generate sufficient revenue to ensure waste management entity Pikitup could sustain its service levels and extend services to new areas and housing developments.
Properties valued at less than R200 000 and households registered for the extended social package would continue to receive free refuse removal services.
The property rates tariff would increase by 5%, while water and sewerage tariff increases would be around 8.9%. – Sapa