Cape municipalities have altered their budgets to 'help the vulnerable'
Cape Town - Municipalities in the Western Cape are adjusting their budgets to support communities amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said: “Councils have been passing their budgets for the new financial year that started on June 1. We have seen many changes to proposed budgets to better provide for ongoing Covid-19 challenges “to best ensure communities are looked after”.
“Municipalities have been providing basic services and feeding their vulnerable communities throughout the entire lockdown period. Tackling the virus has seen the coming together of the state, private sector and NGOs in ongoing efforts to assist our people.”
Giving examples of assistance by municipalities, he said: “The City of Cape Town’s Health Department has secured the services of 490 Expanded Public Works employees to help drive Covid-19 education and awareness initiatives in the city.”
“The City’s Urban Management Directorate has reprioritised and set aside R12 million from its 2019/20 budget for immediate social humanitarian relief in vulnerable wards.
“In the Theewaterskloof Municipality, indigent subsidies that expired during lockdown will be extended until the end of the financial year.
“Subsidy beneficiaries do not have to visit the office to re-apply. Unemployed residents struggling to pay for municipal rates and services, and who qualify in terms of the Indigent Policy are encouraged to apply.”
Bredell said the Drakenstein mayor, city manager and councillors had agreed to forfeit pay hikes in the 2020/21 financial year and to keep municipal tariff increases as low as possible. The Prince Albert Municipality encouraged households earning below R3700 a month to apply for an indigent subsidy.