Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Proposed City Budget

By Tando Mfengwana
28 March 2007

Cape Town mayor Helen Zille tabled the city’s draft budget of R20, 3 billion in council today.

Zille said residents will have to cough up 15 percent more on average rates and tariffs, but the blow would be cushioned by a number of rebates.

This increase is higher compared to last year’s figure of 5 percent increase.

Zille said the hikes in tariffs are necessary in order to upgrade the city’s deteriorating infrastructure.

Mayoral Committee member Ian Neilson said that the city has very significant service delivery needs that have fallen behind.

He said areas such as water, sewerage, and roads need additional capacity.

Other areas that the city is looking at are fire service which are dramatically understaffed and the cleansing services in the Cape Flats.

He said that in order for the city to increase the standard of service delivery, they are looking at significant increases in the budget and that’s the reason that tariffs such as electricity, water and sanitation are increasing.

For property owners whose value has increase on the average of all property which is about three to three-and-half times can expect their total municipal account to increase about 10 to 15 percent.

But anyone, whose property value has increased less than three times, can anticipate the converse.

Property values that have increased four times and more can expect very significant increases in their rates.

The mayor said that R16, 5 billion of the money will be spent on operations and the remaining R3; 8 billion will be spent on capital projects.

The city would invest R158 million on a new programme to address water leaks, servicing informal settlements with a specific target on toilets.

The mayor stressed the matter that this is the proposed draft and was not the final draft and is open for public comment.

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