The grim reality of the impact Covid has had on municipal revenue was highlighted by Western Cape Minister of of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell.
Bredell says municipalities have been hard hit by the pandemic and the various lockdowns that have been put in place.
All our municipalities continue to be severely affected by the pandemic. Municipalities are reporting revenue loss ranging between 20% and 30%.
Most of our municipalities rely on the busy December holiday period for revenue and have lost out significantly this past season with the various restrictions in place. Jobs across the province are under pressure and there is very little room left for municipalities.”
Bredell has commended municipalities for their ongoing efforts to address the backlogs in service delivery arising from ongoing lockdowns and Covid.
“Municipalities across the Western Cape have seen their staff affected by the deadly virus and severe restrictions put in place affecting their daily operations.
The result is backlogs. I want to assure the public our municipalities – supported by the provincial department – are working non-stop to address these backlogs as swiftly as possible.”
Locally, the DA led Kouga Municipality has maintained a 91 % collection rate in the current financial year. When the pandemic hit last year, the Municipality decided to revise their budgeted collection rate down from 96 % in the draft budget to 85 %.
“Since July 2020, we have averaged a collection rate of 91 % and have managed to continue delivering services to the residents of Kouga,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Finance Brenton Williams.
“The tourism industry has been severely impacted by the lockdowns and the travel restrictions that has killed international tourism to South Africa and Jeffreys Bay.
However, the economy of Kouga has been resilient and the agricultural sector, which includes citrus and diary, has had a positive impact on the region,” added Williams.