DATE : 31 MARCH 2017
COUNCIL TABLES BUDGET OF R1,06 BILLION
The Executive Mayor of Mossel Bay, Alderman Harry Levendal, tabled a total draft budget of R1 062 149 729 for the 2017/2018 financial year at a Special Meeting of the Mossel Bay Town Council on 31 March 2017. This was the first time that an initial budget exceeding a billion rand was proposed for Mossel Bay.
The total 2017/2018 budget is comprised of a capital budget of R141 996 778 and an operational budget of R920 152 951. The capital budget amounts to 13,4 per cent of the total budget and the operating budget to 86,6 per cent.
The first Integrated Development Plan of the Municipality for the present Council cycle was tabled at the same meeting. In tabling the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and the draft annual budget for the 2017/2018 financial year as well as the two outer years as prescribed by the Municipal Finance Management Act, Alderman Levendal said the budget is again focussed on service delivery and that the community was consulted on their needs through the IDP processes.
Alderman Levendal said Council have, cognisant of the heavy burden that the ratepayers were carrying in the present negative economic climate, endeavoured to keep the rate increases to the absolute minimum required to maintain service delivery levels at an acceptable standard as well as to ensure continued maintenance and upgrading of infrastructure.
He said that except for electricity tariffs, for which an increase of 1,88 per cent is proposed, and refuse charges, for which an increase of 15 per cent is proposed, an increase of 6 per cent across the board is proposed.
The increase in the electricity tariffs is the percentage by which NERSA allows municipalities to increase their tariffs by.
The increase in refuse charges is the first of approximately four increases above the inflation rate that will be made. This additional tariff increase is contributing to the costs of the proposed new regional landfill facility for the Eden District municipal area, which is also intended to service Mossel Bay. New legislation has resulted in extremely high specifications for new landfill sites but the Municipality has started investigating several additional waste management options, including increased recycling, as an alternative to participating in the regional landfill site to reduce the cost for ratepayers.
Alderman Levendal said the plight of the poor has again received attention and it is proposed that the monthly subsidy for households registered as indigent or poor is increased to R501,83, plus VAT, per month on their household accounts, subject to certain conditions regarding monthly income and water and electricity consumption.
The monthly income limit of a husband and wife at which pensioners will become eligible for a discount of fifty per cent on their property rates and sewerage charges is R14 575 per month. The limit to qualify for a discount of 30% is R19 400 for the 2017/2018 financial year.
All households, including indigent and poor households, will continue to receive 6kl of water and 20 kWh electricity free per month. Mossel Bay remains one few South African municipalities which still supplies free water on the abovementioned basis to all households.
The Municipality will again be dependent mainly on service charges to balance the operational revenue budget. Excluding departmental and other internal charges, the main contributors are the following:
- Electricity charges R377,6 million.
- Water charges R111,1 million.
- Sewerage charges R57,8 million.
- Refuse removal charges R42,7 million.
The total contribution of the National and Provincial Governments to the capital budget amounts to 21,4 per cent of the budget. Their total contribution to the operating revenue budget amounts to R116 582 830, or 12,7 per cent.
The major allocations in the capital budget are as follows:
- Technical Services (Electricity, Sewerage and Water Services): R76,55 million.
- Planning and Integrated Services (including Roads and Storm Water Services and Human Settlement): R47,76 million.
- Community Services: R12,44 million.
The internal Capital Replacement Reserve, which stands at R94,39 million, will be the main source of funding for capital projects, while Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) funding will contribute R21,46 million.
The draft budget, together with the draft revised Integrated Development Plan that was tabled at the same meeting, is now available for public inspection and comment at the municipal offices and libraries in Mossel Bay, D’Almeida, Hartenbos, Herbertsdale, Great Brak River, KwaNonqaba and Friemersheim as well as on the Municipality’s website at www.mosselbay.gov.za.
Comments or representations must be in writing and addressed to the Municipal Manager, Mossel Bay Municipality, Private Bag X29, Mossel Bay 6500. It can also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to (044) 606-5062. The deadline for comment and representations is not later than Friday, 5 May 2017.
Last published 09 May 2017