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​Electricity supply, financial stability and sustainable housing are among the issues that will be tackled in the next financial year.
THE City of Joburg has budgeted R37.6-billion for several flagship programmes to underpin growth and development in the next financial year.

MMC Geoffrey MakhuboMMC Geoffrey MakhuboThe lion’s share of the budget goes to City Power, with an allocation of R13-billion to improve the quality of the electricity supply and provide new service connections, public lighting and the installation of smart meters.

Among the programmes identified in the budget is the achievement of financial sustainability, a shift to low carbon infrastructure and the replacement of informal settlements with sustainable human settlements and economic growth.

Delivering the budget on 23 May, Geoffrey Makhubo, MMC for Finance, said it took into account the global, national and local economic situation and its possible effect and impact on customers and citizens.

Makhubo said the “Revenue Step Change Roadmap” launched by the City Manager, Trevor Fowler, in November 2011, had begun to yield “positive results” and the City had made progress in clearing the backlog of queries. It was hoped that all pending queries would be resolved by 1 July.

“Service Level Agreements are in place to ensure that departments and entities are held accountable for non-resolution of queries among themselves,” said Makhubo, adding that the City was on the way to stabilising its finances.

“We have been focusing on strengthening our balance sheet and have tightened our credit policies and continue to improve our revenue collection strategies. These interventions are resulting in a financially healthy City,” he said.

The City’s Department of Economic Development was allocated R150-million to stimulate growth and promote innovation through “green economy” initiatives. The City also wants to accelerate the implementation of a skills hub to address the gap between supply and demand.

About R1-billion has been set aside for the environment and infrastructure to investigate alternative water and energy resources and promote awareness of resource sustainability.

More money for the Alex Renewal ProgrammeMore money for the Alex Renewal ProgrammeMore than R350-million will be spend on development planning, to intensify policy and spatial development, geographic information system development, transit oriented development, processing of development applications and sustainable human settlement planning.

About R149-million of the budget will be diverted to the Alexandra Renewal Programme, the Bara Central Precinct, the Stretford Station Precinct and the upgrade of public spaces.

Emergency Management Services received a total of R715-million for community based emergency response education, fire prevention and the rollout of safety measures in fire-prone settlements.

About R800-million went to Johannesburg City Parks and the Zoo to develop public spaces and new parks, upgrade existing parks, establish food gardens and upgrade the infrastructure of the Zoo.

The Joburg Market was allocated close to R300-million to enable it to continue supplying quality fresh produce at reasonable prices.

Makhubo said the aim of the budget was to ensure that there is a continuous delivery of basic services to all communities. “The budget also seeks to ensure that we create much needed jobs through our infrastructure programmes, which we will dramatically increase over the next ten years,” he said.

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