City Budget: Tshwane mayor pledges to make things better for residents
Using the city's R4-billion budget, Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga hopes to create jobs and upgrade informal settlements and health care.
Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga has pledged to make the Capital City a better and financially sufficient city for its residents. Mayor Msimanga made a number of pledges to residents when he delivered the city's 2018/19 Budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP) on Thursday morning. Msimanga was set on driving financial efficiency across the city. The total capital budget for the capital city amounts to R4-billion for the 2018/19 period. Msimanga vowed to keep tariffs rates as low as possible, also to prioritise the needs of the vulnerable and poor communities in ensuring that they drive strategic infrastructure development. According to Msimanga, property rates tariffs will increase by 6% from 1 July 2018 for all categories of properties except the business, commercial category and industrial properties, which will have an increase of 4%. The city has also applied an electricity tariff increase of 6,84%. According to Msimanga, the bulk purchase tariff increase is actually 7.32%. This means that the city will absorb the remaining costs. “The city is internalising some of the costs so that the full amount is not passed onto our residents and business owners,” said Msimanga. The DA-led administration will also absorb costs for bulk water with an increase of 10% instead of the 12% increase by Rand Water. “This demonstrates our commitment towards ensuring that the City of Tshwane is an affordable place in which to live,” said Msimanga. According to Msimanga, the increases by Rand Water and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) are completely unacceptable – hence the city is determined to absorb some of the costs for its residents. Tshwane residents who own property which is valued at R130,000 or less will not have to pay any property rates. Msimanga also touched on a very worrying topic for the city, which is health care. Hospitals like Steve Biko in Tshwane are having an oncology crisis and clinics like Rayton Clinic are in need of proper infrastructure development. Msimanga is allocating R26.5-million towards the refurbishment of Rayton Clinic and R4-million for the upgrading of clinic dispensaries. Msimanga also plans on implementing 24-hour clinics in the city for the 2018/19 financial year as called for by the city's residents. “In this administration, public health is one of the critical health priorities, through our municipal health services function we will be embarking on intensive health compliance for many of private and public premises within the city,” said Msimanga. Most of the DA councillors in the chambers appeared happy with the mayor's budget speech, amid ambitious plans to improve the lives of residents. Msimanga has also allocated a total of R290-million to ensure that the Capital City's neighbourhoods are more inhabitable; this will be achieved by upgraded informal settlements in the city. These settlements are:
- Malusi 1 and 2;
- Midas in Mabopane Ext 12;
- Kanana in Haamnskraal West;
- Refilwe Ext7; and
- Creation of approximately 1,800 temporary job opportunities for the locals;
- Labour and 1,100 permanent jobs upon completion; and
- Ensuring that 25% of the work is subcontracted to SMME’s. To date, 23% of work has been subcontracted to local SMME’s.