The City of Ekurhuleni recently presented its consolidated expenditure budget of R57.6 billion for the fiscal year 2023/2024. The budget, tabled before the council by MMC for Finance Nkululeko Dunga, outlines the proposed revenue sources and key focus areas for the municipality.
Proposed Revenue of R55.3 Billion
The budget aims to generate R55.3 billion in revenue, which will be sourced from various avenues:
- R22 billion is projected to come from the sale of electricity.
- R8.6 billion is expected from property rates.
- R6.7 billion is estimated to be collected through water revenue.
- R3.2 billion is anticipated from sanitation revenue.
- R1.8 billion will be generated from refuse revenue.
- R1.3 billion is expected from interest earned on outstanding debts.
- Approximately R5 billion will come from interest earned on investments, rental of facilities and equipment, licenses, and permits.
In addition, the City of Ekurhuleni will receive R6.2 billion from other revenue sources, including national and provincial governments, in the form of equitable share and conditional grants.
Addressing the Electricity Crisis
Recognising the electricity crisis, the municipality aims to prioritise this issue within the budget. Given the national government’s declaration of no intention to generate additional electricity, Ekurhuleni intends to explore partnerships with potential investors through public/private partnerships and Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contracts. This will enable the establishment of additional electricity generation capacity in the city. The municipality is also open to sourcing electricity from neighbouring countries through the Southern Africa Power Pool process.
Revenue Generation Strategies
To enhance revenue collection, the City of Ekurhuleni will implement various strategies, including:
- Maximising the collection of rates and taxes from entities that owe outstanding amounts, such as companies, SOEs, and government departments.
- Optimising revenue collection from the real estate and city planning departments through outdoor advertisements and payments from telecommunication companies using CoE buildings for network connectivity.
- Utilising conditional grants, with a focus on the Social Housing Regulatory Authority Grant dedicated to social housing purposes.
- Insourcing essential services to increase revenue.
- Exploring the corporatisation of the Springs Fresh Produce Market to increase its agility and flexibility without privatising it.
- Enhancing traffic fines collection.
The budget allocates significant funds to infrastructure development and rehabilitation. Key initiatives include:
- Establishing a dedicated pothole repair team.
- Implementing a regular road maintenance schedule.
- Allocating R256 million for prioritised road and stormwater construction.
- Inspecting and maintaining municipal service buildings and neglected council properties through a preventive maintenance plan.
- Engaging local construction and maintenance companies and building internal capacity to reduce dependence on third-party service providers.
- Renovating properties in Wadeville, Boksburg, and Bedfordview to provide affordable rentals for working-class, skilled, and professional individuals.
Sanitation and Environmental Initiatives
The City of Ekurhuleni aims to address sanitation challenges and promote a cleaner environment. Key initiatives include:
- Replacing chemical toilets with dignified and hygienic sanitation solutions in communities.
- Investing in the construction of decent toilets and engaging in the informal settlement re-blocking program.
- Allocating R2.8 billion for environment and waste management, including the purchase of waste collection trucks.
- Cleaning and beautifying township entrances, informal settlements, parks, cemeteries, and open fields.
- Allocating R47 million to combat illegal dumping and ensure clean waste disposal and landfill sites.
Healthcare, Social Development, and Culture
The budget prioritises employee-related costs to ensure well-trained staff at primary healthcare facilities. It also includes capital expenditure for the acquisition of specialised medical equipment. Furthermore, the municipality aims to revive major events, such as jazz and music festivals and sporting tournaments. Additionally, funds have been allocated for tourism offerings.
Tariffs and Financial Measures
The proposed budget includes a 5.3% tariff increase for key municipal services, excluding water and electricity charges determined by external entities. Electric, water, sanitation, and refuse collection charges are projected to contribute approximately 66% of the total budget revenue.
Social Relief Package and Non-Payment of Service Providers
The City of Ekurhuleni has expanded the qualifying criteria for indigents and enhanced the social relief package to assist vulnerable households. Efforts are also being made to address non-payment issues with service providers.
By implementing this comprehensive budget, the City of Ekurhuleni aims to meet the needs of its residents, address critical challenges, and lay the foundation for sustainable development and growth.
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