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Tshwane’s ambitious multibillion-rand budget

Pretoria - It’s all about service delivery in Tshwane’s largest budget ever – and the good news for residents is that the increase in basic service tariffs has been kept the same as last year.

The budget was presented by mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa on Monday and showed that service delivery would be improved and major projects undertaken to change the face of the city. Water and sanitation received a huge allocation, with the refurbishment of Schubart Park receiving a major chunk of the budget.

Executive mayor of Tshwane Kgosientso RamokgopaFile photo: Masi Losi. Credit: Independent Newspapers

After initially waxing lyrical about the ANC’s victory in the general election, Ramokgopa unveiled an ambitious multibillion-rand budget for the city for the 2014/15 financial year.

The budget has a spending plan of approximately R27.4 billion, consisting of a R23.3bn operating budget and R4.1bn capital budget.

There is surplus of R1bn, compared with zero in the current financial year and a negative during 2012/13.

Tariff increases of main services will remain the same as the previous financial year.

Water tariffs will increase by 10 percent, sanitation 10 percent, refuse removal 25 percent, electricity 8 percent and property rates 10 percent.

Ramokgopa said the city had committed R40 million to undertake studies for the East Capital project.

Another allocation of R42.7m would go towards the refurbishment of the city hall. The West Capital development, including the Schubart Park refurbishment at R900m, would start this financial year.

“The total allocation towards the city planning and development department amounts to R297m,” said Ramokgopa.

“Included in this amount is the integrated city development grant of R44.7m…

“A total budget of R467m, inclusive of the R47.5m municipal human settlement capacity grant, has been allocated to the housing and human settlements department… R250m will formalise informal settlements,” Ramokgopa added.

“We will accelerate the formalisation of townships and install basic services in Mamelodi, Zithobeni, Soshanguve and Hammanskraal.”

The services infrastructure department, which is responsible for energy, electricity, water and sanitation, will receive R10.7bn. Of this, R1.1bn will be invested in water and electricity infrastructure and public lighting programme.

The transport department’s total budget amounts to R1.5bn, with R634m for the repair and maintenance of storm water and roads infrastructure.

Another R71.9m will go towards roads and storm water within low-cost housing developments, with the A Re Yeng project getting R731.5m.

Other major projects are the doubling of Simon Vermooten Road at a budgeted cost of R136m, Rainbow Junction at R10m, internal roads in the northern areas at R30m and addressing flooding challenges at R139m. An amount of R18m has been committed to traffic calming and pedestrian safety measures and for the improvement of traffic signals.

The improvement of Garstfontein Road has been allocated R87.3m.

“Emergency services allocation amounts to R537.4m, including the completion of the Fire House in Heuweloord for R20m.

“We have allocated an amount of R14.2m towards the refurbishment of landfill sites.”

He said that “R25m will go towards the creation of self-sufficient settlements in terms of food production, rainwater harvesting, energy generation, low-carbon buildings, energy-efficient lighting, as well as waste treatment facilities and bio-waste digesters.”

Tshwane became the first metro to roll out free wi-fi and R150m will go towards the roll-out of additional sites.

“Walkways will be developed in Saulsville at R8m, with construction of bridges in Hammanskraal and Atteridgeville for R37.3m.

“Speed law enforcement will get R70m, while expansion of the CCTV camera roll-out in crime hotspots has been allocated R27.9m.”

The budget, to be implemented in July, will be debated during a special council sitting on Friday morning. where the money will go

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