R45-bn city budget in spotlight

The proposed eThekwini Municipality 2018/19 budget of R45.8-billion is set to comprise R7.1-billion (15.5%) towards capital and R38.7-billion (84.5%) towards operational expenses.

Ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge said in Amanzimtoti, specific funding has been allocated toward the storm-related repairs in Dick King Place in Doonside, reinstatement of the ski-boat ramp at Warner Beach and the Commercial Road pumpstation sewage reticulation.

The city-wide budget includes operational expenses which are broken down to employee-related costs (R10.4bn), remuneration to political office bearers (R132m), debt impairment (R933m), depreciation (R2.5bn), finance charges (R857m), bulk purchases (R11.3bn), other materials (R1.2bn), contracted services (R5.1bn), transfers and grants (R482m) and other expenditure (R2.3bn).

Revenue of R38.7bn is set to be made up from property rates (R7.5bn), service charges electricity (R13.1bn), service charges water (R4.4bn), sanitation charges (R1.1bn), refuse service charges (R727m), rental of facilities (R951m), interest on investments (R455m), operating and capital grants (R9.2bn) and other revenue (R1.2bn).

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Capital expenses are broken down to eThekwini Transport Authority (R1.2bn), water (R804.3m), sanitation (R564.4m), solid waste (R137.3m), electricity (R806.6m), economic development and planning (R513.4m), community and emergency services (R579.5m), rates and general (R661.3m), housing and hostels (R1.1bn) and engineering (R771.6m).

Funding towards the capital budget comes from internal funding of R2.7bn (38%), grants of R3.4bn (48%) and borrowings of R1bn (14%).

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Social package

Residential properties valued up to R230,000 are exempt from paying rates. With properties valued above R230,000, no rates are charged on the first R120,000.
Pensioners, child-headed households, disability grantees and medically boarded, in addition to the above, receive a rebate not exceeding R4,364 for properties with a value not exceeding R4m, provided that for properties above R2m, a monthly income from a pension fund or SASSA does not exceed R7,000 per year.

Water

The first 6kl water is free to households with a property value of under R250,000.

Electricity

The first 50kw of electricity is free to residents using less than 150kw per month in Eskom-reticulated areas. The first 65kw of electricity is free to residents using less than 150kw per month in eThekwini-reticulated areas.

Sewage and sanitation

The first 6kl of effluent disposal is not charged for all properties valued under R250,000. In addition a free basic service is also available to indigent consumers with VIPs, urine diversion toilets and in informal settlements serviced by means of a toilet or ablution block within 200m.

Refuse removal

Properties valued under R250,000 are exempt from a domestic refuse removal tariff. In addition, a free basic refuse removal service is also available to indigent consumer units living in rural and informal settlements.

The full budget is available for download on the eThekwini Municipality website www.durban.gov.za.

 

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  AUTHOR
Earl Baillache
Journalist

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