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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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Cape Town city council wants more powers to devolve from national government

Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis. Picture: Supplied

Published May 31, 2022


Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says where possible, the City will push for more powers to be devolved from the national government to the municipality.

In his address to the city council on Tuesday where he tabled the 2022/2023 Budget, Hill-Lewis said government officials sitting in Pretoria don’t know what is best for Cape Town.

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“They are too far away from the problems on the ground and they don’t have the solutions.

“Our message to the national government is simple: we have built a capable state in Cape Town, so let us deliver to the people of Cape Town.

“This budget includes allocations to start facilitating the devolution of various national powers to the City including energy production, policing and crime prevention, and passenger rail,” Hill-Lewis said.

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He said the proposed R7.47 billion capital budget is on par with Joburg metro.

“Like many Capetonians who commented on our draft budget, I am not happy about the 9.5% increase in the electricity tariff, which I know will hit people hard.

“With the support of tens of thousands of Capetonians, we challenged Eskom’s original request in January for the 20.5% increase.

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“But there are limits to what we can do to counteract Eskom’s unaffordable and unjust increases.

“This is why we are pushing with such urgency to reduce our reliance on Eskom, lower the cost of electricity, and end load-shedding in Cape Town,” Hill-Lewis said.

He said the budget aimed to demonstrate local government’s commitment to invest in new and renewable sources of energy.

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Making Cape Town safer by deploying hundreds more law enforcement officers, with at least 150 new officers budgeted for in the 2022/2023 budget.

And investing in public transport through a multibillion-rand expansion of the MyCiti network to Khayelitsha and plan for the devolution of passenger rail to the metro.

The budget also aimed to release more land for more affordable housing development in Cape Town, and “clean up Cape Town’s public spaces, streets and waterways”, the mayor said.

“The cost of our social package for the 2022/23 financial year amounts to R4.7bn, and includes R2.292bn for Indigent Relief and R1.457bn for rates rebates, and is one of the most extensive packages of support for the poor in the country,” Hill-Lewis said.