Polokwane Observer

City’s 2020/21 report

- Barry Viljoen

Polokwane Municipali­ty presented its 2020/21 Annual Report to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) and the public during a meeting at Jack Botes Hall on Tuesday, reflecting on the local authority’s responses to its strategic objectives which include improved provision of basic and environmen­tal services in a sustainabl­e way, enhancing financial viability and improved financial management and improving efficiency and effectiven­ess of municipal administra­tion that will result in improved community confidence in the system of local government and finally increase economic growth.

Mayor John Mpe took to the podium and reported that the municipali­ty’s population has grown from 508 277 in 2001 to 797 127 in 2019 and that the dependency ratio has also increased from 86.9% to 92.5% over the same period.

According to Mpe, the municipali­ty is financiall­y stable “for now at least for the short term”. Mpe explained that the slow economic environmen­t and the rising and uncertain cost in the provision of energy necessitat­ed a revised strategica­l approach in ensuring financial sustainabi­lity.

“The strategic approach involves the establishm­ent of a revenue protection unit to optimise revenue billing and collection­s, cost containmen­t measures and innovation­s to curb the high costs of Eskom bills. These strategies will have a positive impact on the financial sustainabi­lity and viability of the municipali­ty in the long term,” Mpe said.

Mpe reported that the municipali­ty succeeded in spending 93% of its conditiona­l grants and awarded contracts to the value of more than R603m as at December 31, 2021. Unauthoris­ed expenditur­e due to non-cash items amounted to R614m and no fruitless and wasteful expenditur­e was recorded.

Mpe said that significan­t challenges continued in revenue collection due to socio economic factors in Mankweng and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The municipali­ty incurred losses in cash inflows of over R110m due to the hard lockdown imposed in March 2020. The impact is still felt to date where the municipali­ty is 7% down in billable revenue relative to pre-Covid-19 figures,” the mayor explained.

Mpe finally indicated that the total of the municipali­ty’s own revenue, being total revenue less grants and donations, increased from R2.183b to R2.188b.

 ?? ?? Polokwane Mayor, John Mpe.
Polokwane Mayor, John Mpe.

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