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Last modified: 01 Apr 2015
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Council considers draft budget for 2015/2016

01 April 2015

The Kouga Council has committed itself to maximising service delivery in the new financial year by cutting back on operating costs and pumping more money into capital projects.

The draft annual budget and draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the new financial year, which commences in July, were tabled to Council on Tuesday (31 March 2015).

The documents will now be taken to communities for comment. The schedule of the public hearings, to take place in all wards during April and May, is being finalised and will be communicated through the media, the municipal website and municipal noticeboards.

Executive Mayor Booi Koerat said the theme of the new budget was to save money on the operating budget in order to fund key capital projects identified in the draft IDP.

Operating Revenue

“Our operating revenue for the new year has been set at R638,741 million. This is an increase of 6% or R37,3 million when compared to the 2014/2015 adjustment budget,” he said.

The expected income from rates and service delivery is as follows:

  • R149,5m from property rates
  • R232,4m from electricity
  • R54,8m from water
  • R40,2m from sanitation
  • R27,9m from refuse removal

Operating Expenditure

The operating expenditure for the new year has been set at R688,285 million, which is 2% more than the 2014/2015 adjustment budget. The total includes an estimated R80-million for depreciation, which is a non-cash item.

Key expenditure items include R200,8-million for bulk purchases and R212,5-million for employee-related costs. Seven percent of the total operating budget will be put towards repairs and maintenance, with a full maintenance plan to be tabled to Council in order to ensure the optimal use of this funding.

Capital Budget

The draft capital budget for the new year has been set at R64,56-million, which is an increase of 37% or R17,372 million when compared to the 2014/2015 adjustment budget.

The Mayor said the substantial increase of the municipality’s capital budget would be made possible by saving money on operating costs.

“No additional funding will be made available to directorates in the new year. The operating adjustment budget of 2014/2015 will be carried over as is, except for salaries and other contractual items. We will also continue to exercise strict control over cost drivers such as overtime and fuel consumption,” he said.

He said that this approach would allow the Council to free up R31-million from internally generated funds for capital programmes, including improved access roads, water, sanitation, electricity and community halls.

While a provisional list of capital projects has been included in the draft budget, the Mayor cautioned that this list would change depending on inputs received from communities.

“The main focus of this budget has been to maximise service delivery to communities, especially to poor and disadvantaged areas, while eliminating the wastage of resources on unnecessary, non-service delivery items. We look forward to working together with all communities and stakeholders to ensure that we build a better Kouga for all,” he said.

New tariffs

The consumer cost of municipal services is expected to increase by an average of between 6% and 12% in the new financial year, starting July 2015.

This is according to the draft municipal budget for 2015/2016, which was tabled to the Kouga Council on Tuesday (31 March 2015).

In terms of the draft budget property rates will increase by 6% for businesses and 6% for residential properties.

A 6% increase is also on the cards for refuse removal and sanitation.

Electricity and water will see the biggest price increase, prompted by the rising cost of purchasing these services from Eskom and the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro respectively as well as the increasing cost associated with repairing and maintaining the required infrastructure.

A tariff increase of 12% will be implemented for water from July 1, 2015, while the consumer tariff for electricity will increase by an average of 12,2% to offset the additional bulk purchase cost of 14,24%, also from July 1,2015.