Tariffs to increase as Msukaligwa Mayor tables the budget

Executive Mayor of Msukaligwa Municipality, Mr M.S Nkosi presents the 2017/2018 municipal budget.

The Executive Mayor of Msukaligwa Municipality, Mr M.S. Nkosi, recently delivered his state of the municipality address and presented the 2017/2018 municipal budget, which will take effect on 1 July.

Mr Nkosi condemned the increasing domestic and gender-based violence, especially the killing of women and children, and encouraged victims to report any abuse to law enforcement agents.

Regarding sound financial management, he pleaded with municipal workers to use municipal resources in an effective, efficient, economical and transparent manner to prevent unwanted expenditure.

He gave a synopsis of demographics in Msukaligwa, with the population having increased from 149 821 to 164 608 people with the unemployment rate at 26.8 per,cent.

Almost 34.5 per cent of the youth between ages 15 to 34 are unemployed, specifically females.

Electricity supply to municipal licensed areas is at 84 per cent, piped water to household at 87 per cent, sanitation at 93 per cent and refuse removal at 78 per cent.

He conceded that improvement is required on the maintenance of roads, streetlights as well as parks and cemeteries.

Challenges mentioned in the budget include low or no payment for municipal services, illegal connections of electricity, areas that are not metered and water for non-payers.

Budget expenditure challenges include increasing fuel costs, old infrastructure requiring maintenance, outdated equipment in the offices, old vehicles and a high staff vacancy rate.

However, solutions to these challenges were put forward, which include the installation of smart meters to reduce electricity losses, repair and maintenance of tarred roads and filling vacant positions, to name a few.

The operational budget was presented with Department of Corporate Services receiving R63 million, the Department of Community Services R74 million, the Department of Finance R20 million, Department of Planning and Economic Development R20 million and the Department of Technical Services R177 million.

R79 million has been put aside for the capital budget with R29 million allocated for water and sewer projects, R18 million for the upgrade of roads, R6 million for the purchase of vehicles and R21 million for electricity.

Electricity tariffs for consumers will increase by 10 per cent, subject to approval by NERSA, water tariffs by 10 per cent, sewerage by 12 per cent, refuse removal by 12 per cent and assessment rates by six per cent.

These increases are influenced by a number of factors, including the consumer price index (CPIX), which is about six per cent; the growth in service provision and the 7.33 per cent increase for salaries.

The municipality has increased the number of indigent households in this financial year to 125 000 with a budget of R29 million.

Each household receives 6 kl free portable water per month.

This spending is in line with the National Development Plan, State of Nation Address, State of the Province Address and the municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP).

Mr Nkosi expressed his appreciation to administration for making this budget a successful one.
He also thanked the community for their input and contribution during consultation meetings.

 

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  AUTHOR
Amanda Mthembu
Journalist

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