With the drastic penalties for excessive water use in the city still to be implemented, the Polokwane Municipality adopted its 2020/21 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and Budget with tariff increases of between 5,4% and 6,22% for municipal services and assessment rates for the financial year that will start on 1 July.
Calling for the adoption of the draft IDP and budget during a virtual special council meeting on Friday, Mayor Thembi Nkadimeng said that the draft budget for 2020/21 makes provision for assessment rates, sanitation and waste removal to increase with 5,4%, while the tariffs for electricity will increase with 6,22% and water with 7,5%.
The municipality has budgeted for an income of R4,6 billion that includes grants from government in terms of the Division of Revenue Act (DoRA) to the amount of R874 million for financing of capital (Capex) projects, bringing the total Capex funding to R1, 12 billion.
The total expenditure for the new financial year is estimated at R3 68 billion.
The city’s population has increased from 424 835 in 1996 to 628 999 in 2011 and to 824 165 in 2019, placing enormous strain on the municipality’s resources as far as the provision of infrastructure is concerned. The municipality has therefore budgeted for a number of capital projects that include the construction of the new regional waste water treatment plant at a cost of R56,1 million, the re-routing of the Seshego outfall sewer at a cost of R30,5 million and the refurbishing of the city waste water treatment works costing R20,9 million. In terms of provision of water, the Sand River North water treatment works will be constructed at a cost of R81,5 million and R42 million is budgeted for the construction of borehole infrastructure. The city’s flagship project, Leeto la Polokwane that will provide rapid transport to and from the city, will take a slice of approximately R68 million from the budget.
The impact of Covid-19 will obviously have a meaningful impact on the city’s economy and may result in some projects being placed on hold when the adjustment budget is tabled towards the end of the second quarter of the financial year. Projects such as the construction of the proposed softball stadium at a cost of R30 million may be one of the projects that may face the axe.
Story: BARRY VILJOEN
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