Not enough cash reserves to prevent hike in municipal tariffs, says mayor
KGATELOPELE Local Municipality in the ZF Mgcawu District of the Northern Cape received R124.4 million revenue in its mid-term revenue and expenditure framework for the 2021/22 financial year, where capital expenditure is estimated to be R99.5 million.
The mayor, Gloria Kgoronyane, said that the municipality would prioritise the upgrading of all internal roads, from gravel to paved, in the Kgatelopele municipal area.
She added that R20 million was allocated from the Municipal Infrastructure Grant for the establishment of a new landfill site and sports facility, as well as the establishment of a new solid waste project.
An amount of R5 million from the Water Services Infrastructure Grant will be used to connect 391 households in the municipal district to the sewerage network, while R3 million will go towards fixing and replacing street lights and high-mast lights.
The wastewater treatment works will receive R62.3 million, while R1 million will be allocated to municipal property.
Kgoronyane stated that it was unfortunate that the municipality did not have the necessary cash reserves to not implement increases on the provision of services.
“However, the increases, as guided by National Treasury, are minimal, excluding electricity, which is guided by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.”
She said tariffs on rates and taxes, water, sanitation and refuse removal would all increase by 4.1 percent, while the price of electricity would increase by 14.59 percent.
“To give relief to the community, the municipality has reduced interest on outstanding debt from 8.5 percent to three percent. This will assist the community to reduce the rate at which their outstanding debt is growing. In addition, the property rates policy has made provision for rebates to be given on property rates to the social- and tourism-related industries that were affected the most during the lockdown.”
Kgoronyane added that indigent and child-headed households would receive a 100 percent rebate on property rates.
“Guest houses and game farms that don’t qualify as agriculture will receive a 10 percent rebate. Smallholdings where the municipality does not provide any or limited services will be getting a 20 percent rebate – as they have been over the years.
“A 10 percent rebate will remain applicable to privately-owned properties in town – as it has been over the year – since the municipality doesn’t provide any services or limited services.”
She added that the refurbishment of pump stations would be completed during May.
Kgoronyane said that the Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the current cash-flow of the municipality and she urged the community to pay their municipal accounts to enable the local authority to provide quality services.