Residents have until Wednesday, 5 May to comment on the contents of the draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework Budget before they’re sanctioned by council.
The portfolio head of Finance, Cllr Jolidee Matongo says both reports mark the culmination of a widespread consultative process, which considered ratepayer and stakeholder inputs expressed during Community-Based Planning (CBP) sessions held recently.
These virtual engagements provided residents at the ward level with the opportunity to contribute towards the IDP and the Budget by expressing their service delivery aspirations as a community, guided by the Municipal Systems Act.
Cllr Matongo says most residents want the City to prioritise filling potholes, fix dysfunctional traffic lights, cut overgrown grass, provide housing for those in need and implement bulk infrastructure projects to create employment.
“Due to the Covid-19 lockdown and its consequent economic downturn, a balance is needed between what is realistic for the City financially and what residents hope the City can provide,” he explains.
The MMC notes that the City is not oblivious to the current economic downturn, which has been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We would have preferred to present a zero-increase in tariff proposals, but should we go this route, the City will place its liquidity at risk. It is also important that we exercise financial prudence to meet service delivery imperatives expected by ratepayers and residents,” explains Cllr Matongo.
He urges residents to provide feedback on tariff proposals in the reports.
“We are determined to continue to improve the daily lived experience of our residents and that is why we need residents to give us inputs on the draft budget and IDP. The feedback will also shape what will ultimately be the final budget to be approved by Council before the conclusion of the current fiscal year,” says MMC Matongo.
The City has two dedicated emails for the IDP and Budget: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. The closing date for emailed comments is Saturday, 8 May.