Historic billion rand budget passed in Kouga

Jeffreys Bay – The Kouga Council approved an adjustment budget of over a billion rand at a meeting held on 28 February 2020.

This is the first time in the history of the Municipality that a budget of a billion rand has been approved by the DA led Council.

Operational expenditure amounts to R 925 million while the approved capital budget is R 194 million. This equates to a total expenditure budget of R 1,1 billion.

Internally generated funds make up R 56,7 million of the capital budget, while R 137, 9 million is from national government grants and includes nearly R 100 million of drought funding that was received from National Treasury in the previous financial year.

The water projects are expected to be complete by the end of June and will ensure that the coastal towns in Kouga have water security in times of drought.

This includes the towns of Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay, while Humansdorp is also included.

The drought funding is being spent on searching for groundwater, connecting new boreholes to the water grid, upgrading water infrastructure and identifying the cause for water losses throughout Kouga.

“The main revenue sources are the sale of electricity (R 274 million), property rates (R 188,8  million), water sales (R 75,7 million) waste water management ( R 50 million) and refuse collection (R 37 million) while operational grants amount to R 133 million,” said Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

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“Debt has been significantly reduced in the Municipality and for the first time ever, the Auditor General did not make a finding regarding 30 day and over creditors and this has now enabled us to redirect funds towards service delivery.

While there are still problems with the Traffic Department in Humansdorp, it is pleasing to note that we are budgeting for an additional R three million for licenses,as revenue from the Traffic Department is over budget for the first six months of the financial year,” added Hendricks.

More funding has been made available for the resealing and repair of roads throughout Kouga with R 25 million available in the budget for this purpose.

“We inherited a backlog in Kouga’s road infrastructure of between R 500 – 600 million after many years of neglect under the previous ANC government in the Municipality.

We are very happy that we have managed the finances of Kouga in a responsible and prudent manner and can now begin to spend money where it should be spent and that is to invest in the infrastructure like roads.”

Photo: Joey Nel

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