Joburg scoops biggest budget of all

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IOL  Joburg skyline INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS File photo: Karen Sandison

Johannesburg - The City of Joburg on Tuesday announced its record R47.1 billion 2014/15 budget, the largest of any city in South Africa.

Making the announcement, member of the mayoral committee Geoff Makhubo said Joburg was in the best financial shape ever.

“We have ample surpluses, reduced the high number of customer queries and received an unqualified audit, and we have a healthy cash balance.

“We are in a position to meet the legitimate needs of our people and for service delivery,” he said.

One of the main projects would be the R2.6bn Rea Vaya Louis Botha Avenue corridor.

Some R225 million will be spent over the next three years on housing along the Corridors of Freedom on Empire/Perth, Louis Botha Avenue and eventually in Turffontein.

The Housing Department has been granted a budget of R3.5bn which will be used to upgrade the city’s 180 informal settlements, 60 of which will be transformed into formal settlements. Money will also be spent on hostel refurbishment and mixed-use settlements.

“We have built up substantial cash reserves through more stringent cash management. Despite monthly expenditure of R2.2bn, the city has a monthly cash balance in excess of R5bn,” Makhubo said.

He said R100bn would be invested in infrastructure over the next 10 years. The capital budget has grown from R4.5bn on 2012/13 to more than R10bn for the coming financial year.

A new aspect of the budget is that from July 1, the provincial housing function will go to the city and as a result, a national grant of R59.5m will be added. This will go to bulk infrastructure in Klipspruit/Kliptown, Lehae, Lufhereng and Matholesville developments.

City Power gets R20.5bn to address its ageing infrastructure and offer new services in Reuven, Berea, Ferndale, Lenasia and Halfway House.

Money will also be spent on alarm monitoring devices to curb vandalism which is responsible for 50 percent of power outages.

Joburg Water gets R10.4bn and will be used for, among others, a biogas to electricity project.

Pikitup gets R2.2bn, which will be spent on building a transfer station at Linbro Park, as well as waste treatment facilities at Diepsloot and Orange Farm.

Joburg increases in rates and services are:

* Electricity: 7.5 percent.

* Refuse removal: 6 percent.

* Water: 8.9 percent.

* Rates: 5 percent.

“When rates and tariffs are determined, the city takes into account local economic conditions and affordability of services while looking after the interests of poor households,” Makhubo said.

Benefits of budget to residents:

* R2.6bn on the construction of Rea Vaya’s Louis Botha Avenue corridor.

* R100bn will be invested in infrastructure over the next 10 years.

* R3.5bn will be used to upgrade the city’s 180 informal settlements.

* City Power gets R20.5bn to address its ageing infrastructure and to offer new services in Reuven, Berea, Ferndale, Lenasia and Halfway House.

* Pikitup gets R2.2bn, which will be spent on building a transfer station at Linbro Park, as well as waste treatment facilities at Diepsloot and Orange Farm.

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