Cape Town: Mayor Dan Plato tabled the City of Cape Town’s R56.6 billion budget - which comes with a number of increases that will have ratepayers forking out more money from July 1, 2021.
The annual budget for 2021/22 outlines the funded commitments of the City, which will help implement its Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and associated strategies.
The R56.6bn budget amounts to R8.3bn for the capital budget, and R48.3bn for the Operating Budget.
“As the impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic continue to be felt by all, we have taken measures to provide relief to struggling residents,” Plato said.
“As of April 30, 2021, we have written off the outstanding debts of residents to the value of R295 million, with a proposal on tomorrow’s council agenda to write off a further R4bn in outstanding debt from residents from previous years.
“We are also allocating R3.35bn for rates relief for the 2021/22 financial year. This consists of R1.99bn for indigent relief and R1.35bn in rates rebates.
“This is in addition to the dedicated Covid-19 relief budget, primarily of R313m on the Operating Budget.”
The mayor said that with the budget they have placed significant emphasis on ensuring that it does not impose further economic hardship, given the the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis.
“As such, we have ensured that, through extensive expenditure cuts, the rates and tariff increases have been kept to an absolute minimum,” Plato said.
Rates increases are as follows:
- Residents will be getting a 4.5% average increase for rates;
- 5% increase for water and sanitation; and
- 3.5% for refuse removal.
- The electricity tariff will be increased by 13.48%. The mayor said residents were being spared the full increase of 15.06% imposed by Eskom.
The mayor added that in light of the pressure on the national budget, the tapering-off of transfers to local governments means that the City has less available from that source to fund our activities.
With R11.1bn allocated towards the water and waste department and R13.8bn towards energy and climate change, these two departments take up just over half of the total operational budget.
R4.6bn is allocated towards the City’s safety and security directorate, with R4.2 billion allocated towards community services and health.
Further details for each of the directorates will be discussed by each of the mayco members, Plato said.
“A critical part of the budgetary process for any City that wants to ensure it is accountable and responsive to its residents, is public participation.
“In spite of the challenges we continue to face as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic, and the limitations placed on public gatherings, the City of Cape Town was able to safely host 68 ward-based focus groups on the draft budget across the City, and where residents weren’t able to attend in person, we made use of services such as Skype.
“While we continued to place adverts in newspapers, including community papers distributed directly to our residents’ post boxes, we also made use of social media and ensured the budget was available at all of our libraries for the public to engage with,” Plato said.
“To all the residents who provided input, thank you. This is your budget, and with all the submissions we received from you during the public participation process, we are able to deliver a budget that takes into account your needs, the challenges you are facing, and how best we can continue to serve you.”
“Our budget has been a careful balancing act between meeting the service delivery needs of all residents and businesses in these trying times, and stemming further economic decline in this constrained context.
“We acknowledge and thank residents and businesses for their continued high level of payments, which is key to ensuring that the municipality can continue to provide services to all who seek a livelihood in our City,” he said.