Council approves City of Cape Town’s new R50 billion 2019/2020 budget | - South Africa News

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The City’s draft budget of R49bn for the 2019/2020 financial year is available for members of the public to scrutinise, to consider and to comment on. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency

Cape Town – “As always, our budget process is an intricate one of balancing different needs and considerations; aspects of affordability and sustainability.”
This was according by Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson when the  City of Cape Town’s 2019/2020 Budget was tabled to Council for approval on Wednesday. 
Neilson said that a mendments to the 2019/2020 Budget have been made, among others, as a result of further analysis and the extensive public participation process that was undertaken on the draft Budget.
“We have adjusted the rates rebates for property owners who are dependent on a pension or social grants for their livelihood. The upper limit on this rebate is lifted from R15 000 to R17 500 per month of household income. The rebates for all income bands between R4 500 and R17 500 per month are also adjusted upwards.
“Not everyone who retires does so on a standard pension. We have thus taken care to define the word ‘pension’ to cover a wide range of retirement funding strategies that are now commonplace, such as retirement living annuities. A pensioner must be the registered owner and be a minimum of 60 years old,” Neilson said .
“The City’s overall social safety net also remains in place for indigent households who will continue to receive a basic level of services free of charge. While we constantly review the limits on the qualifying criteria, we also have to be mindful that the cost is covered by other residents, who may themselves not enjoy the highest standard of living.

“We would also like to ensure that we do not tax those in our city, whose income is limited, more than is absolutely necessary. In the draft Budget we announced a lifting of the indigent household income for those who qualify for a 100% rebate on property taxes, from R4 000 per month to R4 500 per month. Similar adjustments were made to rebates on rentals on Council-owned housing,” said Neilson, who is also the City’s Mayco Member for Finance.

Since the tabling of the draft budget in March, further analysis has indicated that the City’s cash flow status is stronger than was assumed at the time. This has enabled a number of additional short-term needs to be met, while also enabling a reduction in the borrowing requirements that were set out in the draft Budget.

The operating budget expenditure is now set at R41,8 billion and the capital budget at R8,3 billion, giving an overall expenditure budget of R50,1 billion.

The revenue budget has been contained to R40,9 billion, which is a 4% increase on the previous year’s budget and below the Consumer Price Index, despite the considerable cost pressures on the City.
The borrowing requirement for the three-year budget has been halved from the R14,5 billion that was tabled in March to R7 billion, due to the favourable cash flow projections.

“‘As always, our budget process is an intricate one of balancing different needs and considerations; aspects of affordability and sustainability.”
Service charges at a glance:
  • The required increase in water and sanitation tariffs has been lowered by subsidising costs to the tune of R200 million from the Equitable Share Allocation and keeping the tariff increase at 9%, which is an increase of R1,23 per 1 000 litres of water
  • No increase in the fixed charge for water
  • A controlled increase in the electricity tariff of 8,88% (compared to the 15,63% increase in the tariff that the City pays to Eskom for bulk electricity supply). Approximately 65% of the tariff cost is for buying bulk electricity from Eskom
  • An increase of 5% for refuse removal services, down from 5,7%
There will be no rates payable for residential properties on the first R300 000 (currently it is R200 000).

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