THE 2016/2017 DRAFT Annual Budget and Draft IDP review for Overstrand Municipality was tabled on 30 March by Executive Mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie and is available to the local community for representations and comment. The total consolidated budget for the coming financial year is R1,151 billion.
The Capital Budget amounts to R76 million of which R54,9 million has been appropriated for the development of infrastructure.
The increased operating budget is R1,075 billion.
The affordability of tariff increases are of utmost importance to the municipality and the level of services versus the associated cost is a constant consideration.
It should be noted that the proposed tariff increases in service charges, excluding electricity, have been kept below current inflation as measured against the South African Reserve Bank’s latest inflation targets of 6,6 %. Property rates increases by 7,2 %.
The National Energy Regulator announced a revised bulk electricity pricing structure for Eskom on 1 March 2016. In the consultation paper on the proposed guideline tariff increase in the Eskom bulk electricity tariffs to municipalities, a proposed 7,86 % increase could become effective from 1 July 2016, with a proposed guideline tariff increase to consumers at 7,64 %. Notably, this tariff may need to be revised, pending the final determination by the National Energy Regulator.
PROPOSED INCREASE IN RATES AND SERVICES (middle income):
Property rates 7,2%
Electricity: Basic levy 17,5%
Electricity: Consumption 6%
Water: Basic Levy 6%
Water: Consumption 6,3%
Refuse removal 6%
Percentage increase 7%
The impact of unfunded mandates on the budget remains a challenge for the municipality. As per definition, these unfunded mandates materialise when municipalities perform the functions of other spheres of government and bear significant costs out of their own revenue sources.
For purposes of proper service delivery to our communities we however once again had to budget in our Operational Budget for unfunded mandates to the amount of ± R30 million, which includes:
R1.2m – Libraries
R14m – Fire Brigade Services
R6.1m - Housing Administration and Development
R3.1m – Tourism
R5.7m – Environmental Services
The 2016/17 draft budget seeks to continue with this legacy by providing improved service delivery speedily and transparently thus improving the lives of all communities.
We are mindful of the fact that repairs and maintenance of municipal assets are required to ensure the continued provision of services and this has been taken into account during the drafting process of the budget.
Residents can peruse copies of the draft budget and draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP review) at the municipal offices and libraries, or download it from Overtrand Municipality’s website (www.overstrand.gov.za). The closing date for written representations from the public is set for Friday, 29 April. The Mayor will consider all representations and consider amendments to the budget.
Mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie is encouraging all to attend and participate in the budget consultation process. The budget will therefore, be taken once again to communities during the month of April where citizens will be given a platform to comment and make representations. The Municipality will take these concerns and comments forward before the adoption of the budget on 25 May 2016.