PRESS RELEASE

31/03/2015

2015/2016 DRAFT BUDGET TABLED

EThekwini Municipality tabled its Draft 2015/16 Budget today, 31/03/2015 at the Executive Committee and Full Council Meeting. The total consolidated budget for the coming financial year is R39.1billion.

The Capital Budget of R6.1bn has five strategic focus areas. These are social, economic, asset management and rehabilitation, environmental as well as admin and support systems. The increased operating budget is R33.1bn with the main driving costs being R5.9bn for Water Services, R1.8bn for CSW, R2.1bn for Sanitation, R12.5bn for Electricity, R1.6bn for Engineering services and R3.1bn for Community and Emergency Services.

With eThekwini spearing ahead of other cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town, with the best quality of life, the 2015/16 draft budget seeks to continue with this legacy by providing improved service delivery speedily and transparently thus improving the lives of all citizens. The City has prioritised growing the economy and job creation, expanding and improving municipal infrastructure, accelerating and improving service delivery to communities, fighting poverty and building safe, sustainable communities and improving skills development to raise productivity. One of the highlights of this is that R65.8m is provided for youth development initiatives benefitting 2367 learners.

With the growing electricity crisis, ESKOM has set a bulk purchase increase at 14.24%, however guided by the National Energy Regulator, eThekwini has set the electricity tariff at 12.2%, a fair indication of the Municipality’s commitment towards drawing up a pro-poor budget in today’s tough economic climate. Notably, this tariff may need to be reviewed.

The Municipality additionally faces a huge challenge of water loss in distribution which is currently sitting at 35%. Leakages and overflowing reservoirs are some of the factors that have a cost implication on the budget. Thus eThekwini Municipality has set the water tariff increase at 9.5% for residential consumers and 12.9% for business. The tariff increases are:

- Assessment rates: 6.9%

- Water (Residential) : 9.5%

- Water (Business): 12.9%

- Electricity: 12.2%

- Sanitation: 7.9%

- Refuse: 7.9%

Mayor James Nxumalo encouraged all to attend and participate in the budget consultation process. “This is a people’s budget owned by the citizens of the City.” With this in mind, the budget will be taken to communities during the month of April where citizens will be given a platform to comment and ask pertinent questions. The Municipality will take these concerns and comments forward before the adoption of the budget on 27 May 2015.



Ends



Issued by the Head of Communications, Ms Tozi Mthethwa.



For more information contact Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za