BUDGETING TOWARDS CREATING AFRICA’S MOST CARING AND LIVEABLE CITY
The Mayor, Cllr James Nxumalo, today, 28/03/13, tabled his second draft Medium Term budget for the 2013/2014 financial year. The proposed budget of R 33.7bn has been drafted in compliance with the Municipal Structures Act (1998) and Municipal Financial Management Act (2003), and is informed and aligned to the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) objectives, which determines and prioritises the needs of the people of eThekwini. Both the capital and operating budget allocations are not only to ensure that the Municipality’s IDP outcomes are achieved but also to ensure that the City’s vision of being Africa’s most caring and liveable City is realised.
 
The proposed R33.7bn budget for the 2013/2014 financial year consists of a R5.4bn capital budget that continues to reflect consistent efforts to address backlogs in basic services and the renewal of the infrastructure in the City and an operating budget of R28.3bn that will make provision for the continuation of the services provided by the Municipality. This includes the provision of costs to address service delivery backlogs, bulk purchases of water and electricity accounting for 29.6% of the operating expenditure, repairs and maintenance of infrastructure, employee related costs as a result of filling of vacancies and provision for salary increases and the impact of capital spending on the operating expenditure.
 
The capital budget is directly informed by the needs submitted by the community through the IDP process. In line with strategic priorities, the major capital investments made by the City have been in water services and housing, however rapid inward population migration, declining household sizes and greater economic activity places pressure on existing Municipal infrastructure and requires larger investments in the periods ahead. Over the next three financial years, 2013/14 to 2015/16, capital spending is projected to increase slightly to be R 17.6 billion.
 
“The draft 2013/2014 budget continues to support Government’s commitment to broadening service delivery and expanding investment in infrastructure, while taking into account the constrained fiscal environment. Despite the effects of the global recession on the economy, the Municipality has managed to achieve a collection rate of 97.5% which is the best in the country. Due mainly to a strong balance sheet, the Municipality has maintained its credit rating, the best in the Municipal sector, ” said Mayor Nxumalo.
 
“EThekwini has one of the best service delivery programmes in Africa, ensuring that over 75 % of residents have access to basic services. Nationally, our Municipality is used as a financial model for financial governance and is making great strides environmentally.”
 
Mayor Nxumalo said the Municipality was undertaking a number of programmes and projects in a range of sectors most of which align with National Governments focus on infrastructure development and job creation. Several major infrastructure projects that form part of the Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIP’s) announced by Government, include the second phase of the 55 km Western aqueduct pipeline currently underway and will be rolled out over a seven year period. It is expected to significantly strengthen the capacity of bulk water supply to the Western regions, ultimately boosting water supply to the north of the city, the Aerotropolis, Dube Trade Port, King Shaka International Airport, dig-out port, logistics hub development, dedicated rail and links, Durban to Gauteng rail upgrades-all multibillion –rand projects, which are key infrastructure developments of the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy.
Aerotropolis, Dube Trade Port, King Shaka International Airport, dig-out port, logistics hub development, dedicated rail and links, Durban to Gauteng rail upgrades - all multibillion rand projects
 
“EThekwini continues to be one of the biggest employers in the province thereby playing a pivotal role in dealing with unemployment, poverty reduction and inequalities. We have recently converted 1149 temporary employees into permanent contract employees. This number includes 926 Metro Police officers, young people and those who were under labour brokers. We will be employing more people especially the youth and women and plan to increase the intake of youth in our skills programme from 200 learners to 2000 learners,” said Nxumalo.
 
The tabling of the draft Budget will be followed by extensive public consultation as per the Municipal Systems Act and in conjunction with the Municipal Finance Management Act. Accordingly 17 regional public hearings on the budget will be held during April 2013. Other key target groups for the budget hearing would include:
 
- Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Civic Bodies
- Religious Organisations
- National Treasury
 
Publication of the full draft budget document will be available on the Municipal website and highlights together with the dates and venues will be published in the Metro eZasegagasini, social media sites as well as in community and mainstream media and radio.
 
Mayor Nxumalo urged residents to participate fully during the consultation process.
 
For more information contact Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820 or 083 7317456, email mofokengthabo@durban.gov.za
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality's Communications Unit. Contact Priah Dass on 083 476 1944 or email priah.dass@durban.gov.za