ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
14 APRIL 2016
 
Building a Socially Cohesive and Financially Viable City
 
EThekwini Municipality Mayor, Cllr James Nxumalo, today, 14 April 2016, announced two significant programmes aimed at ensuring that service delivery is prioritised. The programmes were launched at a media briefing at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
 
Nxumalo unveiled the Municipality’s ambitious R41.6 billion budget for the 2016/17 financial year. This is made up of R34.9 billion operating budget and R6.7 billion capital budget.
 
This was followed by the announcement of the 2nd Social Cohesion Conference to be hosted by the City at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on 21 to 23 April 2016.
 
BUDGET PROCESS
 
Amidst tough economic challenges, the Municipality has presented the 2016/17 draft budget that puts transformation and development as priorities. Provisions in the budget continue to support government’s commitment to broadening service delivery and expanding investment in infrastructure, while taking into account the constrained fiscal environment.
 
Mayor James Nxumalo said: “It is our responsibility to manage finances in a prudent and sustainable way, empower our people, accelerate service delivery, assist the needy and provide interventions to the challenges faced by our communities.”
 
“It is a pro-poor budget and is focused on alleviating poverty and social imbalances through job creation, youth development and advancing the economy by creating an enabling platform for business to flourish,” said Nxumalo.
 
Tariff increases for the 2016/17 financial year were affected by various factors including the cost of bulk purchases from ESKOM and Umgeni Water, the adverse impact of the current economic climate, coupled with unfavourable external financial pressures on services and the decrease in consumption of water and electricity.
 
The budget is currently available for comments and community hearings will start on 19 April 2016. The budget will be presented to communities, business and traditional leadership, stakeholders, thereafter it will be adopted at the end of May 2016.
 
SOCIAL COHESION CONFERENCE
 
The Social Cohesion Conference will cover critical areas to take the City forward and assist in the realisation of a vision of a truly united and prosperous society. The Conference themes will cover a wide range of areas such as the role of the media in strengthening democracy and social cohesion, education, the role of women in a transformed society and economy.
 
Nxumalo said it is significant that the Social Cohesion Conference takes place on the heels of the recently released report on xenophobic attacks that ravaged the country over the past couple of years.
 
“As we move towards achieving our vision of being Africa’s most caring and liveable City by 2030, it is important that we address these issues and come up with solutions to the problems being experienced,” he said.
 
Independent Newspapers, represented by the Acting Editor of Isolezwe, Mazwi Xaba, have pledged their full support for the initiatives by the Municipality.
 
Xaba said that Independent Newspapers were currently embarking on the Anti-Racism Campaign, which seeks to promote unity and social cohesion. “As citizens, we all need to play a part in building a united and peaceful society. This will in turn result in a progressive City that can be counted among the best in the world.” Xaba congratulated the Municipality for taking a bold step towards uniting the nation and committed to support the Municipality in its endeavor towards nation building.
 
Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s spokesman, Thulani Mbatha.
 
For more information members of the media can contact Thulani Mbatha on 031 311 4820 or email: thulani.mbatha1@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za
Please read this confidentiality disclaimer: http://www.durban.gov.za/Pages/edisclaimer.aspx