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Tau tables big budget
29 June 2011

Balancing service delivery “imperatives” and maintaining existing infrastructure has formed the backbone of the mid-term budget by Mayor Tau.

THE City intends spending an estimated R33-billion in the 2011/2012 fiscal year in addressing service delivery “imperatives” and building and maintaining major infrastructure projects.

 

Executive mayor Parks Tau presents the 2011/12 Budget (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)
Executive mayor Parks Tau presents the 2011/12 Budget (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)
Delivering his maiden mid-term budget on Wednesday, 29 June in the Mayoral Chambers in Braamfontein, Executive Mayor Parks Tau said his administration’s agenda was “unambiguously one of fundamental socio-economic transformation and redress”.

 

Tau said the City’s budget had been balanced against revenue collection. It would spent its capital budget on traffic management, road maintenance, patching potholes, maintaining open spaces and cutting grass, reducing power outages, cleaning informal settlements and addressing illegal dumping, to list a few.

Money would also be invested in rehabilitating Bruma Lake, developing infrastructure in Alexandra, Baragwanath central precinct, Selby Village and Stretford station precinct; installing smart electricity meters, upgrading sewer and water infrastructure, roads, extending and implementing Phase 1B of Rea Vaya, and developing new parks and upgrading existing ones.

The mayor announced an operating budget of R29,4-billion and a capital budget of R3,7-billion for the 2011/12 financial year.

Tau said traffic mobility and congestion would be improved through a focus on repairing traffic lights at critical intersections, as well as strategic deployment of metro police officers during peak hours. “Traffic enforcement will also be intensified targeting those motorists infringing traffic and city by-laws.”

Stretching the rand
The underlying principles of his budget were strengthening financial management and accountability, stabilising finances, ensuring that expenditure was aligned with revenue, continuing to review all services and programmes for operational efficiencies and stretching the rand – “doing more with less”.

Budget speech
Executive mayor Parks Tau's Budget Speech. Read more.

“Therefore in the next financial year, we will ensure that the spending of the budget focuses on service delivery imperatives and takes into account the medium- to long-term priorities of the City that will be agreed to as part of the GDS [Growth and Development Strategy] process.”

The figures:

  • Emergency management services receives R577,6-million for disaster management;
  • Metro police receives R1,5-billion to improve law enforcement and crime prevention;
  • Transport has been allocated R1-billion for the expansion of Rea Vaya and ending gridlocks in the inner city;
  • Johannesburg Roads Agency gets R567,6-million for road maintenance and fixing potholes;
  • Health receives R521,4-million for primary health care, vaccines for preventable diseases and increasing the number of facilities providing antiretroviral treatment;
  • City Power is allocated R11,2-billion to reduce electricity outages, repair street lights and roll out meter reading to reduce illegal connections;
  • Joburg Water gets R5,1-billion for maintenance of water networks, fixing sewer blockages, water conservation and demand site management;
  • Pikitup receives R1,2-billion to keep the city and informal settlements clean, and ending illegal dumping;
  • Community development gets R815,4-million for building libraries in schools, assisting displaced people and maintaining community facilities;
  • Housing receives R511,7-million;
  • Revenue customer relations management is allocated R890,7-million to improve revenue value chain and customer interface;
  • Metrobus receives R432,6-million;
  • Development planning and urban management gets R135,1-million;
  • The Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market receives R230,9-million; and
  • Economic development gets R286-million for job creation.

Tau said the remainder of the budget would go to the Mayor’s and Speaker’s offices, finance, environment, infrastructure and services, the zoo, Johannesburg Development Agency, Metro Trading Company, Johannesburg Tourism Company and the Joburg and Soweto theatres.

Tariff increases
The mayor also announced that proposed tariff increases for major services included a 6,7 percent rise in property rates, an average rise of 14 percent for water and sanitation, 6,7 percent for refuse removal, and 27,7 percent for electricity; lifeline customers will get a tariff increase of 8 percent.

Varying property rates rebates would be given to residential property owners who were registered on the City’s Expanded Social Package, pensioners and sectional title residential property owners, subject to conditions detailed in the City’s Property Rates Policy.

“The City’s tariff policy is premised on social considerations. This calls for tariffs that are equitable, affordable and that promote access to basic services for everyone,” he said.

Tau’s speech was themed “Focusing on service delivery imperatives and preparing for the city of the future”. He said the 2011/12 medium term budget attempted to balance on-going service delivery imperatives and respond to developmental challenges.

His budget was the biggest ever for Joburg, and gave the City an opportunity to assess its service delivery performance and challenges, and review the effectiveness of its programmes. “It has been prepared within a context of transition,” he said.

In closing, Tau reiterated his willingness to work with all political parties, stakeholders and communities to find workable solutions for the diverse range of developmental challenges facing the city.

“We are convinced that the City has a clear roadmap for delivery both in the immediate and short term as well as in developing a process for long-term development. The city of Johannesburg is poised for an exciting new chapter in its history and let us all work together to help create a better Joburg through the building of better communities.”

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