Mayor Dan Plato set to adjust City of Cape Town's budget
Although no details were given of how much money would be shifted and where it would go, the City’s R50 billion budget for the 2019/20 financial year, is geared towards improving safety, urban renewal and human settlements.
The operating budget expenditure was set at R41.8bn and the capital budget at R8.3bn.
Deputy mayor and mayoral committee member for finance Ian Neilson only gave a broad outline of the budgeting process, saying the next three-year budget would be tabled by Plato at the end of March.
“Much progress has been made in shaping it by firstly reviewing the IDP (Integrated Development Plan) and forming strategies, assessing latest implementation trends and consideration of proposals relating to existing and new initiatives, programmes and projects,” Neilson added.
During the tabling of the budget in 2019, the council announced that it would spend over R2.7bn over the next three years on informal housing settlement upgrades.
In 2019 alone, R800 million was to be made available for new housing and the informal settlement upgrades.
More than R2.9bn was meant to be spent on transport upgrades, with the City placing emphasis on improving public transport, and about R535m was earmarked for safety and security.
Mayoral committee member for human settlements Malusi Booi said R2.1bn had been allocated for the development of Breaking New Ground housing opportunities in various areas across the city.
Booi said while the City was mindful of the “acute” need for housing opportunities, its efforts to provide housing hinged on various factors including budget, availability of suitable land as well as the proximity to public transport.
Plato assured residents that the City would continue to pursue a positive outcome in its court bid to be allowed to seek alternative energy sources to Eskom.
“It is vital that we future-proof our city as a responsible local government, which is increasingly becoming internationally recognised for our climate change programmes,” Plato said.
He said should the city’s court application succeed, it would embark on a public tender process for proposals from project developers who could offer competitively priced, affordable, reliable and cleaner energy.
But civic pressure group Stop CoCT said it wanted to see more action than promises.
Stop CoCT spokesperson Sandra Dickson said when the City increased water tariffs, the intent was to secure augmented water supply for residents.
“Two years later, the City is still only producing around 40 million litres of augmented water per day. This is hardly more than when they started. As far as securing our water supply, the City did not stick to its promises,” she said.
Dickson said sewage spills, which provoked the ire of residents, was another problem. “There were also many complaints by residents over sewage spills into the city’s main lagoons and waterways,” Dickson said.@WeekendArgus