Joburg’s R33bn budget ‘to boost infrastructure’

Posted On Thursday, 30 June 2011 02:00 Published by
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Joburg mayor Parks Tau yesterday announced a budget of R33bn for 2011-12 that he said was aimed at strengthening the city’s infrastructure and management capabilities

The detailed budget, to be debated in the council today, had not been presented to councillors by yesterday afternoon.

The unveiling of the budget came as auditor-general Terence Nombembe told the Pretoria Press Club that Johannesburg was one of 46 municipalities with its audit for 2009-10 still outstanding. The audit was not complete because the auditor-general could not satisfy himself about the accuracy of information from the city, which was phasing in a new information system during this period.

This the first time in three years that Johannesburg has not received a clean audit.

The city had previously said that the delay in submitting its accounts was caused by the inability to finalise its accounts for City Power and City Water, which, during this period, had centralised its accounts into a new billing system.

Mr Tau announced an electricity hike of 27,7% — well above the 22% the council had applied for from the National Energy Regulator of SA this month. He said the discrepancy was "within the range allowed by Nersa". He also announced a rates hike of 6,7% and a 14% hike for water and sanitation services.

It emerged that the city was paying R1,3bn a year on debt repayments. Mayoral committee member for finance Geoff Makhubu said Johannesburg was planning to issue a new municipal bond to help finance the running of the city.

But Patrick Atkinson, the Democratic Alliance spokesman on finance, said after the mayor’s briefing that the city was technically insolvent as it had R10bn of current liabilities and only R7bn of assets.

During his speech, Mr Tau acknowledged the "challenges" the city was still having with its billing system.

In the summary of the proposed budget, Mr Tau said City Power would have an operating budget of R11,2bn and would concentrate on reducing electricity cuts, on repairing street lights, and on cable theft and illegal connections.

Johannesburg Water was allocated R5,1bn, emergency management services R577,6m, the metro police R1,5bn and the roads agency R523m.


Publisher: I-Net Bridge
Source: I-Net Bridge

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