Kouga Municipality’s draft budget for the new financial year, starting July, was approved by Council on Thursday (31/03/2018).
Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the draft would now be taken to communities for feedback in order for the documents to be finalised. Public meetings will be held in all wards from 16 April to 22 May.
The final budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP) will be tabled to Council for adoption before the end of May and implemented from 1 July.
Van Lingen said Council’s aim in the new year would be to strengthen service delivery to all communities.
The draft capital budget, which includes several projects aimed at improving the lives of the poorest of the poor, totals R71,595-million, which is 3,11% more than the 2017/18 Adjustments Budget.
“It will mainly be funded from government grants and subsidies, as the municipality has reached its prudent borrowing limits while internal funding is limited,” she said.
Draft capital projects include R23,7-million to upgrade the Sea Vista Waste Water Treatment Works in preparation for new RDP houses to be built in the area.
R10,2-million will further be spent on the electrification of informal settlements while R2,8-million has been allocated to roll out a bucket eradication programme.
A further R4,4-million will be used to upgrade sports facilities and R1,5-million has been set aside for facilities to accommodate informal traders.
The draft operating revenue for 2018/19 totals R732,962-million. This is an increase of 6,38% compared to the 2017/18 Adjustments Budget.
The main revenue sources are electricity (33,58%), property rates (23,55%), operating grants and subsidies (16,8%), water (9,24%) and refuse (5,94%).
The draft operating expenditure for 2018/19 totals R786,146-million, resulting in a budget deficit of R53,184-million. It is a 4,07% increase compared to the 2017/18 Adjustments Budget.
The main expenditure items are employee-related costs (34,64%) and bulk electricity purchases (25,56%) and depreciation (9,59%).
Van Lingen said the Council would be keeping the tariff hikes as low as is possible.
“We kept the proposed tariff increases for property rates and refuse lower than they were last year because these are fixed amounts over which residents have no control.”
The proposed tariff increases are:
- 7,5% for property rates
- 11,5% for water
- 9% for sanitation
- 8% for refuse
- 6% for the Environmental Management Fee
- An average of 6,84% for electricity, subject to approval by the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).
The dates of the public meetings will be published in the local media and on the municipal website.