Govan Mbeki locals must expect hike in these utility rates

Ms Thandi Ngxonono (executive mayor of Govan Mbeki Municipality) delivered her State of the Municipal Address on Tuesday, 29 May.

HIGHVELD – The budget vote was passed by the ANC councillors without forming a quorum on Tuesday, 29 May at the Govan Mbeki Municipality’s Council Chamber.

This came after the opposition parties, including the Democtratic Alliance, the Economic Freedom Fighters, the Freedom Front Plus and the Sakhisizwe Progressive Movement staged a walk out over their dissatisfaction with the budget.

Of the 63 councillors, about 23 ANC councillors were left in the chamber and passed the budget.

Ms Thandi Ngxonono, executive mayor, tabled the budget before Council and said the total operating revenue for the 2018/19 financial year is R1.8 billion and the total operating expenditure is R1.9 billion with a deficit of R173 million.

A total capital budget of R153 million has been budgeted for.

The Democratic Alliance has labelled the ANC-led Govan Mbeki Municipality as the model city of disgrace and a centre of disappointments.

Ms Ciska Jordan, DA caucus leader, said the deficit has been budgeted for, while there is no realistic foreseeable solution to compensate for the deficit.

She said Council is currently at its worst and that its performance is dwindling by the day.

“The budget is not based on the current trend of generating revenue and the expenditure of the municipality, but rather on the previous budget.

“There will be no change to this if the current budget is based on the previous budget.

“Electricity and water losses, of which Council is aware, are not included in this budget, instead the vehicles of the mayor and the speaker against which we objected, are included in this budget.

“The DA will not support this budget.

Mr Sibusiso Hlolweni, Sapromo leader, said what happened is disgusting, humiliating and open corruption by the ANC.

“It is not the first time that the ANC does corruption in daylight. This is like open witchcraft.

“They have undermined the community for such a long time, but now they have gone too far, let us see if the court of law will agree with their corruption.

“Let us see if the court will rule in their favour regarding corruption, maladministration and irregular expenditures happening on our watch.

“I call on the community to support us as we are seeking legal advice on this matter.

“The Lord does not rejoice when the wicked rule.”

The EFF and Freedom Front Plus said they were not happy with the ANC and intends to take the matter further.

Mr Nhlakanipho Zuma, speaker, said he did everything by the book and was not aware that there was not a quorum.

In her speech, Ms Ngxonono acknowledged the problems that GMM faces and said her party is committed to finding lasting solutions.

She also prided herself with the progress that Council had made thus far.

“Despite it all, we stand resolute and forever committed towards our responsibility as the government of the day, recognising that all is not doom and gloom for there are so many positives.

“We adopted a total operating revenue of R1.7 billion with a total operating expenditure of R1.6 billion.

“Through this budget and other sources of funding, we managed to fulfill our constitutional mandate and beyond.

“Part of our challenges in responding swiftly to service delivery enquiries has been the lack of reliable transport for our employees to attend to complaints.

“Speaker, I am pleased to report back to Council that we have procured a total of 22 bakkies for all essential service delivery sections, four sedans for traffic officers and a panel van for the traffic sections for road block purposes.

“Upgrading of the Kliphuis Pump Station in Leandra – a total budget of R8 million was allocated towards this project under SLP projects funded by Sasol Mining. I am pleased to report that the contractor has since been appointed with the site handed over on 18 May.

“A total of 400 out of the targeted 583 toilets have been converted to full water borne in Kinross Ext 25 with a budget of R10 million.

“Refurbishment of the eMzinoni Waste Water Treatment Works and three pump stations of which two pump stations have been completed and that is the eMzinoni Cow Village and Ext 5 pump stations. Work is in progress on the remaining Ext 4 pump station.”

Ms Ngxonono announced that tariffs will be increased as follows effective from 1 July:

– All property taxes as per the 2017/2018 tariff book increase by 5.4 per cent.

– Sewerage charges increase by 12.2 per cent.

– Refuse charges increase by 5.4 per cent.

– Water charges increase by 12.2 per cent.

– Electricity increases with 6.84 per cent in line with Nersa.

– Deposits increase with 5.4 per cent.

– Miscellaneous tariff increases by 5.4 per cent.

All tariffs exclude VAT except in the case of assessment rates that are zero-rate.

  AUTHOR
Sifiso Mathebula
Journalist

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