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City Power gets the biggest share of the Budget


City Power – the City of Johannesburg’s electricity utility, which recently came up with an innovative solution to minimise the effects of load-shedding – received the lion’s share of the City’s 2015-2016 Budget.

The Budget was announced by Member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance Councillor Geoffrey Makhubo at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday 26 May.

The entity, which falls under the City’s Sustainable Services Cluster, was allocated a R15.4 billion operating budget for the 2015-2016 financial year and a further R4.6 billion capital budget for the next three years. A few weeks ago, at the height of a series of rolling blackouts, Johannesburg Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau announced during a media briefing that City Power would from this month roll out a “load-limiting” system to households with smart meters to mitigate the impact of load-shedding.

In the same media briefing, City Power Managing Director Sicelo Xulu said the municipal-owned entity intended saving about 153MW during load limiting. This is an equivalent of 23% during the first stage of load shedding, 44% on the second stage and 88% on the third. He said City Power aimed to install more than150 00 by the end of October.

Delivering his Budget Speech, MMC Makhubo said City Power would continue to roll out prepaid and smart meters not only to protect the City’s revenue streams but also to mitigate “the impact of load-shedding through the load-limiting capabilities of smart meters”.

“We have all experienced the discomfort of load-shedding and its impact on our daily routine – children needing to do their homework, mothers preparing and the elderly with electronic health equipment.”

The MMC also announced that candles, paraffin stoves and braziers – a norm for many residents of informal settlements – would soon be a thing of the past as the City had set aside a total of R400 million over the next two financial years for the electrification of informal settlements. The second biggest chunk of the budget went to Johannesburg Water which, among other major priorities, is engaged in replacing hundreds of kilometres of ageing pipes to save water.

MMC Makhubo allocated the entity an operating budget of R7.2 billion for the 2015-2016 financial year and a three-year capital budget of R3 billion. The capital budget will also address water demand management, water services and infrastructure. Pikitup, the City’s waste management entity, has been allocated an operating budget of R2 billion for the coming financial year and a three-year capital budget of R323 million to fund key projects such as integrated waste management, eradication of illegal dumping, street sweeping and separation at source.

The Johannesburg Social Housing Company was allocated an operating budget of R138 million for 2015-2016 and a capital budget of R1.9 billion for the next three years.

The Community Development Department received R1 billion for its 2015-2016 operational expenditure and R410 million for capital projects until 2017-2018. Other 2015-2016 allocations, with three-year capital budgets in brackets, are as follows:

Health Department – R743 million (R315 million);
Social Development Department –R182 million (R51.5 million);
Public Safety Department –R3.4 billion (R562 million);
Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo –R856 million (R223.5 million);
Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market – R347 million (R816 million);
Johannesburg Property Company –R456 million (R581 million);
Johannesburg Development Agency –R99 million (R829 million);
Johannesburg Roads Agency – R943 million; and
Metrobus –R612 million (R603 million).