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Draft 2017/18 budget sets a new benchmark for better services: Trollip

Mar 30, 2017
Draft 2017/18 budget sets a new benchmark for better services: Trollip

The eradication of bucket toilets, the establishment of a safe, reliable public transport system, the formation of a well - trained, fully compliant metro police service and the development of community spaces in poor communities, are just some of the ways that your local government is transforming this Metro into a rising city of opportunity, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, said on Wednesday.

"The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is for the first time tabling a draft budget that speaks to developing one city with one future.

"The draft 2017/18 budget sets a new benchmark for the delivery of better services, the eradication of corruption and the development of the economy to create jobs," the Executive Mayor said.

He said that the draft budget, which was on Wednesday  given the nod by the Mayoral Committee, will be tabled at a full sitting of council on Thursday.

"The Municipality is now moving towards expediting long-awaited projects that will unlock our City's potential.

"Poor communities have been prioritised through varied capital projects which have received sizeable allocations for the budget period 2017/18. The biggest portion will go towards the Assistance to the Poor (ATTP) programme, which has received a budget allocation of R543 million. However, to prevent possible fraud, the municipality is due to embark on a process of verification where all ATTP applications will be validated and corroborated to ensure that only indigent residents receive free services," Trollip said.

"One of the key areas that have been prioritised is the Human Settlements Directorate which has received an allocation of R221 676 316 for the delivery of housing top structures. While the Housing Development Agency is currently responsible for the construction of houses, the Metro under new leadership is certainly capable of managing this large budget and ensuring optimal delivery of houses.

"An amount of R36 million will go towards the electrification of informal housing. The figure is set to increase by a projected R3.1 million for the 2018/19 budget period. This is indicative of the Metro’s commitment to provide high quality services to poor communities.

"Just this year alone, an amount of R95 million has been allocated to wards for the tarring of gravel roads to uplift the affected communities. The following allocations over 3 years speak to a specific focus on improving service delivery and developing our infrastructure: Bulk Sewers R333, 8 million, Electricity and Infrastructure R361, 6 million, Integrated Public Transport System R382, 9 million, Waste Water Treatment Works R354 million, Construction of major roads R96 million, Sports and Recreational facilities R38, 5 million, Storm water improvements R128, 3 million, Provision of sidewalks R29 million, Refuse sites and recycling stations R56, 7 million including the greening and beautification which has an allocation of R37, 5 million."

However, the Mayor said, the municipality has also made a bold move by prioritising Roads, Stormwater, Transport and Fleet with a budget allocation of R440 600 070.

"A total of R7 500 000 has been set aside for the Motherwell Urban Renewal Programme of which R5.6 million will go towards the development of Njoli Square, KwaZakhele. The long-awaited project has been fraught with delays over many years, which the new administration is dealing with head on.

"Once the project has been completed, it will open up the area to new business opportunities and formalise the current business model of informal trading," said Trollip.

"Informal settlements have not been left out as the Metro has set aside R40 000 000 which will be used to eradicate the bucket system, a legacy of the apartheid government.

"One of the promises the DA-led coalition government committed to delivering on was to create a safe and secured city. As such, R12 200 000 has been allocated for Safety and Security and will go a long way in the fight against crime and lawlessness in the Metro."

He said that while there are challenges in respect of revenue collection, massive infrastructure maintenance backlogs and a tighter national budget, "we have still managed to table a draft budget that will change lives".

"This government is committed to bringing the changes it had committed to delivering, visible strides are being made to ensure that this city becomes one city with one future," Trollip said.