A City of Johannesburg Press Statement by
MMC for Finance, Councillor Jolidee Matongo
09 July 2020
For Immediate Release
*EMBARGOED: POST MMC BUDGET ADDRESS
Joburg passes inclusive budget in Extra-ordinary Council
The City of Johannesburg on Thursday, 09 July 2020, presented the much anticipated 2020/21 to 2022/23 Medium Term Budget.
The Johannesburg Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Finance, Cllr. Jolidee Matongo announced that the 2020/21 Budget amounts to approximately R68.1 billion, which represents an operating budget of R60.6 billion and a capital budget of R7.5 billion – with a three-year capital budget appropriation of R22.6 requested.
The tight budget dubbed 'the government of local unity budget' prioritised tariffs relief and rebates for pensioners amidst the impact of Covid-19 on Johannesburg residents. It also placed housing and the continuation of water, electricity, and road infrastructure development at the top of its considerations - alongside basic service delivery.
“It is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has turned the global economy upside down, and the City of Johannesburg has not been an exception," said MMC Matongo.
He pointed out that the ripple effects of an economic melt-down due to the pandemic, and the subsequent national lockdown in South Africa, are already evident in the decline of the city's revenue collection record from April to date.
MMC Matongo said: “The tariff setting process, which was presented through a public participation engagement, took into consideration the likely impact the initially proposed tariff increases had on the local economy, businesses and residents."
On the other hand, there has been an increase in demand on limited and fast depleting resources where the municipality needs to continue to set its tariffs to ensure that there is sufficient revenue for service delivery.
“As the economic hub of the country, our tall order has been to urgently explore ways in which we can offer relief to the people of Johannesburg. The tariffs contained in the budget demonstrate our commitment to inclusivity and accountability to the residents of Johannesburg," MMC Matongo said.
Following public concerns and suggestions expressed by Johannesburg residents to the proposed tariffs, the City has taken a decision to withdraw the proposed fixed charges of R200 for residential and R400 for commercial pre-paid electricity.
The property rates tariff will also be reduced from the proposed 4.9% to 4%, the water tariff will also drop from the initial proposal of 8.6% to 6.6%, and the electricity tariff goes down from 8.10% to 6.23%. Meanwhile, the business rates ratio will be reduced from 1:2.6 to 1:2.5.
MMC Matongo said: “In addition to these tariff relief interventions, the pensioner income qualifying criteria has increased by 6%. This means a pensioner with a property value of below R2.5 million and an income of below R10 338 for the lower limit or below R17 719 for the upper limit, will receive a 100% rebate on their rates."
“This effectively means an increased number of pensioners will now qualify for the City's rebates," he said.
MMC Matongo added: “The City under the Government of Local Unity has gone to great lengths to develop a balanced budget that is both responsive to the needs of the people of Johannesburg and the tough economic times we face today."
Other allocations in the new budget include the following:
- Over R 1 billion for job creation and SMMEs engagement through the roll-out of high-impact projects that include sewer upgrades, storm water upgrades, tarring of roads and housing developments in Orange Farm, Lakeside, Drieziek, Kapok, Ivory Park, Ebony Park, Mayibuye, Riverlea and Kliptown.
- 1 350 to be employed across the City's 135 wards – an initiative that will see each ward have a minimum of 10 people working daily to augment the services provided by the City's entities.
- 3 500 more housing units to be built in Region A, B, D and G in addition to the ongoing mega projects in Lufhereng, Fleurhof, South Hills and Lehae.
- A total of R1.2 billion has been allocated for the formalisation of informal settlements over the medium term.
- The upgrading of the Central Fire Station in the Inner City and the Protea Glen Fire Station in the new financial year.
- An allocation of R200 million has also been made for the procurement of fire engines.
- To advance the Joburg 10 Plus programme wherein a minimum of 10 law enforcement officers will be available per ward at any given time.
- A seed funding of R50 million for youth development directed programmes in partnership with the provincial and national government, and the private sector to augment the City's resource.
- Up to 500 000 food parcels and vouchers to be distributed to vulnerable households amidst indications that more than a million households in Johannesburg are food insecure.
- The construction and completion of clinics in Florida, Naledi, Bophelong, Turffontein, Zandspruit, the Orchards Clinic and the Alexandra Hospice.
- Allocation to further ensure the availability of extended service hours in 14 additional clinics and the establishment of six Substance Abuse Centres and 10 mobile clinics across the City.
- Provision for the construction and operationalization of multi-purpose centres in Ivory Park, Lehae, Matholesville, Kaalfontein and Drieziek.
- About R800 million over the medium term has also been allocated for the procurement of new buses for the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit system to ease the current demand pressure on the existing fleet, and continue to offer a cheap and reliable public transport system to the people of Johannesburg.
- Over the medium term, over R156 million has been set aside for hostel upgrades and R105 million for the upgrade of flats and old age homes.
- In addition to the R45 million that was allocated in June this year for the roll-out of the Free Joburg Wi-Fi, an additional R40 million has been availed to expand access to free Wi-Fi across the City, including in hostels, flats, student villages and old age homes.
- An allocation of R780 million over the medium term has been set aside for the tarring of gravel roads across Johannesburg.
- Up to R820 million has been allocated over the medium term for storm water upgrades across the City including in Protea Glen.
- A total of R440 million has been set aside over the medium term for the construction and upgrading of bridges.
- An operating budget of R12.8 billion in 2020/21 – with a three-year capital budget of R3.1 billion for the continuous supply of water and sanitation to the people of Johannesburg – both in formal and informal settlements where rudimentary services in a form of chemical toilets and water tanks will be added and serviced regularly.
- City Power has been allocated a three-year capital budget of R2.6 billion, which will fund the provision of public lighting at R205 million, the electrification of informal settlements at R498 million and the electrification of Mega Projects at R100 million.
- The maintenance and refurbishment of existing electricity infrastructure, supporting infrastructure such as ICT and integrated security and fire protection systems at R22.7 million.
- An operating budget of R3 billion for Pikitup will go towards the ward-by-ward approach to waste management. Co-operatives will be appointed across all regions and they in turn will appoint, on a short-term basis, at least 15 people per ward to keep the City clean.
- The improvement of refuse collection in informal settlements through the provision of more waste bags and more strategically placed skip bins. These interventions will be rolled out alongside the City's ongoing Kleena Joburg Campaign.
MMC for Finance Media Liaison
Cell: 063 336 6231
City of Johannesburg Spokesman
Cell: 082 467 9228