Cape Argus

Public weigh in on budget

Sewer blockages, illegal dumping, water and sanitation high on city residents’ minds


SEWER blockages along with water and sanitation for informal settlement­s were some of the issues raised in response to the City of Cape Town’s draft 2019/2020 draft budget.

A total of 3 052 comments were received, according to acting mayoral committee member for finance Felicity Purchase. The responses would be submitted to the full council as part of the final tabling of the budget at the end of this month.

“As far as the online submission­s refer, comments were primarily aimed at tariffs and rates matters. As far as it concerns the public meetings, the dominant matters raised were about sewer blockages, illegal dumping, water and sanitation in informal settlement­s, employment and youth programmes, housing and tenancy programmes.”

Some of the highlights that the City proposed includes no rates payable for residentia­l properties on the first R300 000, lowering the required increase in water and sanitation tariffs by subsidisin­g cost to the tune of R200 million, and a controlled increase in the electricit­y tariff of 8.88%.

“Ongoing provision of subsidised electricit­y connection­s to informal settlement­s. In the City supply area, approximat­ely R30m was spent on 1 774 new connection­s, as well as smaller meter relocation and infill electrific­ation projects.

“This has resulted in continued rollout of electricit­y services to backyard dwellers at council rental units, installati­on of 2 460 water and sanitation service points to backyard dwellers on City rental property since 2014, and plans to continue rolling out about 2 000 service points to backyard dwellers in the next three years.”

But the leader of the opposition in the council, Xolani Sotashe, ANC, said: “At the end of the day we are going to see that 91% of the projects in the budget is not going to change.

“People have raised comments, but I can tell you the City is not going to take these comments into account. It has become a norm and nothing ever really changes. People should not be excited about this R49 billion budget.

“The biggest stumbling block is the capital budget that relates to infrastruc­ture investment and speaks to the people in terms of housing, sanitation and roads. Year in and year out, the City don’t spend the entire amount budgeted on infrastruc­ture. Look at the Imizamo Yethu settlement project in Hout Bay that dates back to 2007 and still has not been finalised.”

 ??  ?? Xolani Sotashe
Xolani Sotashe

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