Executive mayor Solly Msimanga. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi
Pretoria - The City of Tshwane is the most expensive municipality for residents to live in in South Africa.
This is according to mayor Solly Msimanga, who was speaking to journalists at the post-budget speech breakfast held in Centurion on Friday.
Msimanga was joined by the MMC for finance Mare-lise Fourie and the Pretoria News deputy editor Kennedy Mudzuli as members of the panel to unpack the budget speech.
The budget for the current term has an operating budget of approximately R30 billion, and a capital budget of R3.9bn.
The total revenue expected by the metro was R30.3bn - and the amount would give the city a surplus on its operating account.
Mare-lise bemoaned the fact that the city's budget was small as compared to the budget in other metropolitan cities such as Cape Town and Joburg.
She said the budget allocation to the city for health and emergency services was anything between 50 to 60% as compared to Ekurhuleni and Joburg metropolitan municipalities.
Mare-lise said she would have a meeting with the Gauteng MEC for finance Barbara Creecy to look into disparities of budget allocation.
According to Mare-lise, the city was cash-strapped because of the historical events that had taken place under the previous ANC administration.
Msimanga spoke at length about the newly-launched project called inner-city rejuvenation. The project entailed the development of the inner-city with a view to make the urban centres livable for people.
He said it was important for people to live in a habitable space and closer to where they worked.
Msimanga said the city was well on its way to create revenue collection through side-parking in the city. He said the type of revenue collection would in a long run create employment for people.
He said the city was involved in a number of projects in the inner-city with a view to make the condition conducive for business to thrive.
Msimanga also condemned "political protests" staged by the ANC supporters to create no-go areas for DA-led administration representatives and officials in some city areas.
Recently some people even blocked refuse trucks from going to Hammanskraal, Msimanga said.
He said that prior to the budget he had back-and-forth engagements with the political parties regarding what should be prioritised in the budget.
Some of the submissions made by parties were unrealistic, he said.
The EFF was able to influence the budget by pushing for the city to extend the operating hours of some clinics.
Msimanga announced that two clinics in Refilwe township and Soshanguve Block JJ would operate for 12 hours from Monday to Saturday.
Mudzuli said the public constantly complained about poor services at clinics, saying overcrowding was among the problems encountered in the healthcare.