Adjusted budget to prioritise Tshwane’s finances, residents’ needs

Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Msimanga said one of the main challenges facing the metro was the R2 billion deficit, which ended the 2015/16 financial year.

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga tabled his 2016/17 adjustment budget on Thursday, focusing on stabilising city finances.

Msimanga said the adjusted budget increased by R59.3 million  from the R4.46 billion approved by the previous ANC-led administration.

National Treasury raised concerns about the city’s finances during the mid-year assessment in January, recommending that council tables and approves a funded 2016/17 adjustment budget, he said.

“The adjustment will reprioritise the budget to serve the needs of the many people of Tshwane who are desperate for services after the [previous] administration treated our city’s budget as a piggy bank for vanity projects at the expense of real and meaningful strides to improve the lives of our people.”

The adjustments would align the budget to the new macro organisational structure approved by council in November, Msimanga said.

One of the main challenges was the R2 billion deficit, which ended the 2015/16 financial year.

Another was the mid-term results, which indicated the city would not achieve its budgeted revenue targets due to underbilling, a decline in electricity sales, reduction in water revenue due to water restrictions and increased distribution losses, member of the mayoral committee for finance Mare-Lise Fourie said.

Tshwane ANC chief whip Aaron Maluleka said the proposed budget did not indicate whether the funds would be used to provide long-lasting jobs, housing and safety.

“We are also not being told where the money is coming from. The city’s budget has increased but last year when we had this budget, [the DA] did not approve of it.

“[The DA] are focusing on things in Waterkloof, Centurion and other suburbs, and not mentioning anything about the townships. We challenge the DA [to show] that issues of housing and safety are well taken care of.”

Fourie said that grant funding increased by R32.4 million as a result of additional funding received and rollover funds from the 2015/16 year.

“Cost-containment measures were implemented by departments to eliminate wasteful expenditure, reprioritise spending and identify savings in areas such as engagement of consultants, travel and subsistence costs, office furnishing costs, advertising or sponsorship costs, catering and events-related costs and overtime, among others.”

http://citizen.co.za/news/news-national/1435487/mashabas-budget-address-to-focus-on-joburgs-forgotten-people/

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