The DA remains committed to uplifting the poor wherever we govern.
This is evidenced in the City of Cape Town 2016/17 draft budget tabled by the Mother City’s Mayor, Patricia de Lille.
The draft budget is the most pro-poor budget ever put together by the City and reflects our commitment to serving all citizens through accountable, transparent government that cuts corruption and expands opportunities for all.
This is the change we want to bring to more and more places across South Africa after the Local Government Elections this year.
The budget includes the DA’s strategy of providing assistance to the City’s poorest communities, through indigent relief of R1.1 billion and rates rebates of R1.4 billion.
This means a provision of R2.5 billion for the Social Package, the largest yet, aimed at relieving some of the financial burdens experienced by especially poor households in Cape Town.
The National Treasury have asked municipalities to fund their requirements bearing the pressure on their residents in mind, which we have done by providing the most generous allocation to the poor in the country, an allocation Treasury in fact deems excessive, but which we embrace as part of our social obligation.
Treasury has also asked for austerity measures to be implemented – cuts in catering, entertainment, public functions, and travel – something which we already effected years ago and matched with measures targeting consultants and vacancies.
Assistance to the poor will be implemented as follows:
- 6 kl of water per month per household free of charge
- 4.2 kl sanitation per month per household free of charge
- 60 kWh electricity free of charge per month per household for customers using less than 250 kWh per month
- 25 kWh electricity free of charge per month per household for customers using more than 250 kWh but less than 450 kWh per month
- Waste removal – consumers whose properties are valued between R0 and R400 000 receive rebates between 0% and 100%
- Rates rebates on various properties in terms of ownership and usage amounting to R1.4 billion
- The qualification for the senior citizen and disabled persons rates rebate maximum monthly household income is increased from the current R12 000 to R15 000
- The indigent rates rebate for people younger than 60 years, the maximum monthly household income is increased from the current R5 000 to R6 000
- Any household with a gross monthly income of R4 000 or less will receive a 100% rates rebate, an increase from R3 500 per month threshold
In terms of other strategic initiatives, we have proposed a R229.2 million investment in the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to provide job opportunities, despite only receiving just over R30 million from the National Government for this.
As a demonstration of our continuing budget allocations for priority projects that include all residents, especially the poor, it is useful to consider a few year-on-year budget allocations for larger projects. In this regard:
- Electrification, including backyarders: R105 million this year following the R70.8 million allocation last year
- Street lighting, with an emphasis on poorer areas: R65.8 million this year in addition to R30.8 million last year
- Completion of Cape Flats 3 Bulk Sewer: R112.9 million after the R84.5 million allocation last year
- Backyard dwellers and informal settlements upgrades: R134 million after an allocation of R79.6 million last year
In the local elections this year, the DA will continue to strive for the upliftment of the residents we serve, especially those in poor communities.
By voting for a DA government this year, you can bring this change to your lives too.
Tags: cape town budget