City’s 2020/21 report
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.