Share this article

In his state of the City speech, Executive Mayor Amos Masondo is expected to follow the lead set by the president, and focus on job creation and municipal services.
JOBURG will get a chunk of the R808-billion allocated to national and provincial government by the finance minister; 9 percent of the total will be diverted to municipalities.

 

Executive mayor Amos MasondoExecutive mayor Amos MasondoAnother R2,5-billion will go towards improving public transport systems and infrastructure in the next fiscal year.
 

This was revealed when Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan tabled the national budget in parliament on 23 February. He said upgrading human settlements and municipal services would receive R4,9-billion. Two new grants were also made to respond more rapidly to disasters.

Spokesman for the City of Joburg, Virgil James, says the municipality has taken interest in the national budget allocations “as some have a direct impact on us”. Executive Mayor Amos Masondo will take his lead for this year’s City budget speech from the national one “in support of development in local government”.

Masondo will deliver his state of the City address on 9 March from the council chambers in Braamfontein, and table the City’s budget in May. James says both speeches will be mainly in line with what was said by the president in his state of the nation address, the finance minister in his budget speech and the premiere in her state of the province address.

The mayor will talk about how the City plans to contribute to the national drive to create jobs and improve municipal services, he says, mention the progress the municipality has made in the past year and challenges with which it is grappling.

“That is the basis of us planning and going forward. Our core services and mandate is not going to change,” James adds.

He projects the mayor’s budget to be slightly more than last years’, which was R28,3-billion. “On 9 March the mayor will likely give an indication of how the City will spend about 95 percent of that budget,” he notes.

According to Gordhan, low income earners, such as those on the City’s indigent register, will get an R8,1-billion tax relief, 50 percent of which will be directed to people earning R270 000 a year and less, 33 percent to those earning between R270 000 and R580 000, and 12 percent to those with salaries of between R580 000 and R1-million.

 

Public transportThe city's public transport system is earmarked for improvementTotal spending on the housing, water and community amenities social wage will amount to R122-billion in 2011/12, rising to R138-billion in 2013/14. A further R3,6-billion will be added for water infrastructure and services, including funding for the acid water drainage threat to cities on the Reef, such as Joburg, associated with abandoned underground mines.
 

The levy on electricity generated from non-renewable and nuclear energy sources will increase by 0,5c/kWh to 2,5c/kWh from April 2011. The increase should not affect electricity tariffs, as it has already been taken into account in the National Energy Regulator’s approved tariff structure, according to Gordhan.

“The current allocations towards transport and infrastructure, disaster management, housing, job creation and particularly the acid water problem mean that we can confidently deal with service delivery, sustain and initiate new projects and programmes for the socio-economic upliftment of citizens and development of Joburg,” James explains.

Through the introduction of the R9-billion national jobs fund announced by the president, private companies will get a R20-billion tax rebate to promote investment, expansion and upgrades in the manufacturing sector, if they create employment.

There are about 1,2 million households living in South Africa’s 2 700 informal settlements, 180 of which are spread across the outside edges of Joburg. By 2014, Zuma said, 400 000 households living in those settlements should have security of tenure and access to basic services.

The state will spend R2,6-billion on improving access to water services, especially in poverty-stricken communities. Through the Expanded Public Works Programme, the City will contribute to job creation, says James.

Related stories:

Cash for jobs and skills
Zuma calls on all to create jobs
Jobs top premier’s agenda
Masondo has bold vision
City moves to solve billing issues
City sets up billing hotline