RNM mayor tables 2017/18 budget – 6 percent tariff hike proposed

Budget matters: Addressing media about budget matters during a council meeting held at the Port Shepstone Civic Centre on Tuesday are (from left) speaker Cllr Doctor Njoko, municipal manager Max Mbili and communications officer Nomusa Zulu.

A SIX percent hike in rates and tariffs was proposed in the new 2017/2018 Ray Nkonyeni Municipality draft budget during the municipality’s monthly council meeting held on Tuesday at the Port Shepstone Civic Centre.

By unanimous decision, just over R1-billion was approved by council, in line with municipal finance management legislation to table a credible budget at least 90 days before the start of the new financial year.

In terms of electricity, municipalities have been advised to budget for a 0.31 percent adjustment as per NERSA guidelines up until Wednesday April 5, when the final Eskom tariffs will be determined.

According to the mayor, Cllr Cynthia Mqwebu, the proposed tariff increases were in line with the current inflation rates which stand at 6.4 percent.

“The capital budget is projected at just over R132 million, inclusive of community projects as well as departmental capital items. The capital budget will also cater for new infrastructure projects across the seven clusters of the municipality.”

Cllr Mqwebu also said the budget is premised on principles such as the necessity for a credible budget based on realistic anticipated revenue, the alignment of policies and priorities, limitation on non-priority spending as well as the consideration of the new General Valuation Roll which comes into effect on Saturday, July 1.

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Items on the operating expenditure budget include;

* R1,7-million to Ugu South Coast Tourism;

* R1-million to the South Coast Development Agency;

* R1,5-million to youth programmes;

* R750 000 each for the SA women’s open golf tournament and the mayoral registration fund;

* R500 000 each for South Coast Bike Festival and Ugu Jazz Festival;

The approved draft budget will be open for comments to communities during the IDP roadshows to be held in all clusters starting in April.

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  AUTHOR
Zimasa Mgwili
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