TO ALL MEDIA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATT: NEWS EDITORS AND REPORTERS
14 APRIL 2021
PEOPLE-CENTRED BUDGET TABLED AMID TOUGH ECONOMIC ERA
City of uMhlathuze Mayor Cllr Mduduzi Mhlongo, tabled a proposed consumer-friendly budget of R4.7 Billion amid dwindling global economic period fuelled by the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging all parts of the country.
The proposed budget takes into cognisant all factors affecting the economy against the dire need to provide efficient and effective service delivery to all citizens. The alarming rate of unemployment curtailed by the pandemic, decrease in rates collection and the need to support the indigent and vulnerable citizens, were seriously considered in this budget.
The budget also tables the Covid-19 relief measures aimed at reducing the burden to the already distressed rates payers. The reliefs are as follows:
- An increase in the free kilolitres of water from 6 â€“ 10 kilolitres
- An increase in the indigent relief
- Free Rates if property is valued at R 160 000 or less
- Free Refuse if property is valued at R160 000 or less
- Free sewer if property is valued at R160 000 or less
- Increase in pensioners rebate to R250 000 from R200 000 ( subject to making an application)
- Tariffs increases have been on averaged capped at 5% for all services with the exception of electricity
- Electricity tariffs have been placed at 6.29 %
- Repairs and maintenance of infrastructure has been increased to 13% and the norm is 8%.
â€śWe have done all these with the plight of our poor communities who only has the government to look up to for their wellbeing. We have done this also looking at the local economy, and although not so physical in the eye, many companies have reduced staffing, others have literally closed shop, and all those that have lost their jobs are now indigent or poorer than before covid- 19. Let me also highlight challenges that we have faced when compiling this peoples budget. Our collection rate has dropped from 97% a year ago to 92%, Rates and general still making a deficit of close to R317 million, an increase in the expectation of services from households in the Ingonyama Trust Board arrears yet there are zero rates collected, implementation of the property valuation from last financial year, our cash reserves is reducing because it will have to fund the deficit budget, load shedding makes it difficult to budget properly and the increase of water purchases and electricity above inflation by the water board and Eskom,â€ť Mhlongo said during the recent Council sitting.
Mhlongo said bulk of the budget is directed to infrastructure projects that has a potential to create the much-needed employment opportunities.
â€śAround the rolling out of infrastructure, we are expecting that a number of employment opportunities will be created. It is therefore expected that administration will start the procurement processes early this time around in order to be able to spend the R830 million capex, which is an increase from R763 million on the previous financial year,â€ť Mhlongo said.
The City of uMhlathuze will hold public and stakeholder meetings to seek inputs on the proposed budget. The meetings are scheduled as follows:
- AMAKHOSI/TRADITIONAL AUTHORITIES: 19 April 2021. R/Bay Civic Centre: 11h00
- Wards 31,32 & 33: Macekane Sports field: 17 April 2021: 13h00
- Wards 9,23,24,25,27,28 & 29: Ngwelezana Sports field: 18 April 2021: 13h00
- Ward Committees: KwaHlanganani Hall: 21 April 2021: 09h00
- Ward Committees: eMpangeni Town Hall: 21 April 2021: 17h00
- Stakeholders: R/Bay Civic Centre: 22 April 2021: 17h00
- Wards 10, 11, 30 & 34: KwaDlangezwa Sports: 24 April 2021: 13h00
- Wards 15,16,17,18,19,20,21 & 22: eSikhaleni TVET College: 25 April 2021: 13h00
- Wards 12,13 & 14: Mpembeni Sports field: TBC: 13H00
- Wards 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 & 26: KwaTsheka Sports field: 02 May 2021: 13h00
Council will approve the budget upon considering all inputs from amakhosi, stakeholders and members of the public. Upon approval, the budget will be implemented in the new Financial Year, July 2021.
For media related enquiries, contact Mdu Ncalane on 076 2926 535