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Budget engagement outlines economic plans following floods

Date: 2022-05-24 11:06:27

Budget engagement outlines economic plans following floods

The business sector welcomed the engagement with eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda on 23 May to outline the draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and budget statement for the 2022/2023 financial year. The total proposed budget for the 2022/2023 financial year is R54.6 billion. The budget is geared towards ensuring economic recovery for the City following a string of unplanned events that have tested the resolve of the people and adversely affected the City’s economy. 

Mayor Kaunda explained that the unprecedented flood disaster in April has left a trail of destruction affecting the City’s infrastructure and property as well as resulting in the loss of life and many families being left homeless. And while grappling with these adversities and still counting the cost of last month’s disaster, the City was yet again hit with flooding this past weekend, he said. Mayor Kaunda said this has added more pressure to the already strained infrastructure.  “The current situation puts under scrutiny our ability to bounce back, and our preparedness to take bold decisions for the future. Our planning, especially building infrastructure, should take into consideration the impact of climate change and extreme weather patterns we are witnessing,” he said. 

“As we build better and smarter, we want to urge all our social partners to work with us and develop solutions that will put us on the path to meaningful economic growth. The work to repair damaged infrastructure continues and we hope this reconstruction project government has undertaken will create jobs and change the lives of people for the better,” Mayor Kaunda added.

The strain on the City’s fiscus over the past two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the July civil unrest, and the recent severe storms has been a catalyst for the City to rethink the way business should be done. Mayor Kaunda reaffirmed the City’s leaderships commitment to rebuilding the economy. “We remain committed to building a conducive environment for investments – ensuring that businesses are able to grow and get returns on investment. We are fully aware that investors look at several factors, including the ease of doing business, before deciding to invest.

The circumstances we find ourselves in have forced us to develop the Reprioritisation Plan to respond to the recent disasters. We are confident we will achieve strategic projects for the City.” The proposed budget is also intended to bring hope to eThekwini residents of a better tomorrow with targeted programmes which seek to empower communities by establishing social enterprises.