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City adopts pro-poor budget

Date: 2023-06-02 11:19:43

City adopts pro-poor budget

COUNCIL adopted the 2023/24 budget on 31 May during a special Full Council meeting. An overwhelming majority of councillors from different political parties supported the budget. The total budget for the 2023/24 financial year is R65.5 billion. This is comprised of an operating budget of R57.4 billion and a capital budget of R8.1 billion.

EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda said councillors were unanimous in their agreement that this was a balanced budget that responds to the service delivery and socio-economic needs of eThekwini residents. “When crafting this budget, we took into consideration the tough economic climate and the catastrophic disasters that
have plagued the City.” Mayor Kaunda said the comments made during the 2023/24 draft budget and Integrated
Development Plan (IDP) public consultations were taken into consideration. Extensive public budget consultations were held over eight weeks to unpack the draft budget and IDP to relevant stakeholders. “The decision to revise the
tariffs was informed through engagements the City had with stakeholders who made it clear that the proposed tariffs were unaffordable,” he said.

As a listening and caring government, Council approved the following tariffs:
  • Electricity has been revised from 21.91% to 18.49% which is aligned to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) increase. 
  • With regards to water, Council approved a 14.9% increase for residential customers and 15.9% for business.
  • The property rates tariff increase is reduced from 8.9% to 7.9%. 
  • The sanitation tariff increase is reduced from 11.9% to 10.9% for domestic and from 12.9% to 11.9% for business. 
  • The refuse tariff increase is reduced from 8% to 6.9%. Over 866 000 households will benefit from the social relief package in the next financial year at a cost of R4.47 billion, said Mayor Kaunda. 

During a post-budget media briefing on 1 June, he highlighted the growing concern of Municipal vehicles being hijacked. He said this scourge impacted on service delivery. “Almost daily, Municipal staff are being hijacked.” Mayor Kaunda also touched on the revised load shedding schedule which came into effect on 25 May. “With over 800 000
customers and 15 000 substations, balancing the load and the blocks rotation is an extremely difficult task but we have strived for an equitable and fair spread of load shedding.” Mayor Kaunda said to ensure a more reliable electricity supply, the Municipality has allocated a capital budget of R2.2 billion for electricity over the next three years. “The bulk of this funding will be spent on ongoing extensions and reinforcements of existing networks as well as 17 new substations that will be commissioned. 

We are also undertaking a project to repair broken streetlights.” Water has a capital budget of R1 billion in 2023/24.
One of the priority projects is repairing the Southern Aqueduct project to alleviate water challenges in uMlazi, KwaMakhutha, Folweni and surrounding areas, said Mayor Kaunda. Over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework,
R2.1 billion will be spent on the replacement of water pipes and other water loss interventions which contribute to non-revenue water. Sanitation has a capital budget of R1.2 billion to be spent on the upgrading of various wastewater treatment works, alternative sanitation technology, and to upgrade the Mahatma Gandhi Road Sewer