Posts Tagged ‘kouga budget’

History made as unanimous budget gets passed in Kouga

June 5, 2017

Kouga Municipality will start its new financial year on a high note following the unanimous approval of the new budget by the Council on 31 May 2017.

It is the first time in the history of the municipality that its annual budget was approved unopposed and without conditions.

da kouga

 

The municipality’s new five-year Integrated Development Plan (IDP) was also approved unanimously at the same meeting.

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen commended councillors for setting aside their political differences in the interest of communities.

“This is the first budget to be compiled since the new DA-led Council was inaugurated in August 2016.

“We wanted it to be a unifying document, hence an open and transparent process was followed, with ample opportunity for all councillors, communities and stakeholder groups to provide input,” she said.

“We are pleased that our efforts paid off and that the budget for 2017/2018 can be implemented with the full support of all parties.”

In terms of the approved budget the total operating revenue for 2017/2018 is R684,339 million, which represents an increase of 7,03 % when compared to the 2016/17 adjustments budget.

Funding for the budget will be obtained from various sources but primarily from service charges such as electricity, water, sanitation, the Environmental Management Fee (EMF) and refuse collection (54.08 %), property rates (23,46 %), grants and subsidies from national and provincial government (16,69%).

The following tariff increases were approved:

·         Property rates 8%

·         Water 9,5%

·         Sanitation 9%

·         Refuse 9%

·         Electricity (average increase in income) 2,05%

·         EMF 6%

Advertisements

DA opposes the budget at Council meeting

June 1, 2016

The DA Councillors all opposed the annual budget for the Kouga Municipality at a Council meeting yesterday.

Rivers of sewage flow in Humansdorp

Rivers of sewage flow in Humansdorp

In particular they opposed the 9 % increase in property rates, sanitation, and refuse collection.

The DA also insisted that more money should be allocated towards repairs and maintenance.

According to Councillor Brenton Williams a Council should allocate a minimum of 8 % of the Budget towards repairs and maintenance.

“The underspending on repairs and maintenance of our infrastructure over many years has led to the problems we facing today, with sewage spills, water leaks, power outages and the potholes in our roads,” said Williams.

He also questioned how the Kouga will ever catch up on the infrastructure backlog, identified as being billions of rand in the IDP, when only R 68 million was being allocated towards Capital Projects.

According to the medium term budget framework, things are not going to get better with only R 49 million being budgeted for Capital Projects in the 2017/18 budget cycle.

Williams also criticised the fact that the Tourism and Local Economic Development budget is only R 11 million, which is down from R 19,5 million in the 2013/14 financial year.

“Tourism and agriculture are the economic drivers in Kouga and yet we treating Tourism as a nice to have item in the budget and not as a “have to have” item.

We need to be supporting the big festivals we have in our area, as well as be attending the trade shows and market our area, which has so much tourism potential.

Tourism is the only sustainable creator of jobs in the Kouga and needs to be treated accordingly,” added Williams.

Williams added that the DA cannot support the budget as the proposed increases of 9 % for property rates, Sanitation and refuse were too high in the current economic climate.

He proposed a 6 % increase across the board.

He was supported by Councillors Ben Rheeder and Desmond Peterson.

Councillor Dave Alderndorff queried why the residents of upper Wavecrest should pay an additional 9 % for their water, when they are receiving water of a dubious quality.

“These residents are getting water from the boreholes and not from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, so there is no justification for charging them a 9 % increase when they are often getting water that is not fit to drink,” said Alderndorff.

Councillor Nico Botha also questioned why bulk consumers of electricity are being charged more than the 7,64 increase.

The ANC used their majority in Council to ram through the budget.

Kouga Council passes R 689 million budget

June 3, 2015

A budget with total expenditure of R 689 million was passed by the Kouga Council at a meeting held in Jeffreys Bay.

where the DA governs

Expected income was budgeted for at R 638 million with an additional R33 million coming from grant funding.

Capital expenditure is set at R 63 million, which is nearly R 20 million more than the last financial year.

The DA agreed that it is not necessary that R 6,5 Million be budgeted for a new Council Chamber and R 3 million of this proposed budget will go towards  the Melkhout to Jeffreys Bay main 66kv electrical line, which supplies Jeffreys Bay with power.

The other R 3 million will go towards a new community hall in Kwanozamo, with Councillor Juline Prinsloo querying why budget was not rather being set aside to upgrade the existing halls. However, she was criticized by ANC Councillors as not knowing the needs of the Kwanozamo community as she does not live there.

Councillor Ben Rheeder insisted that an R 1 million capital project be identified and implemented in Sea Vista (St Francis Bay), which was agreed upon by the entire Council.

12 % increases in water and electricity tariffs were passed, with the Council having little control over these increases as these services are received from Eskom and the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

Other services will increase by 6 %, although the DA requested time to study the tariff schedules which were only handed out at the meeting, which did not give any opportunity to scrutinise the various tariff increases.

“Tourism unfriendly budget”

While it is pleasing to see an increase in spending on Kouga’s infrastructure, it is alarming to note the dramatic decrease in spending on Tourism and Local Economic Development.

Tourism is widely regarded as being the most sustainable job creating industry in Kouga, yet the budget has been decreased to R 8,8 million.

The tourism and local economic development budget was R 19, 4 million in the 2013/14 financial year and is being steadily cut by Council.

This was opposed by Councillor Brenton Williams, who said that more budget must be set aside for tourism as the Council had a responsibility to create the climate for a sustainable tourism industry in Kouga.

However, his concerns were brushed aside by ANC Councillors who stated that the tourists will come to the Kouga anyway and there is no need to budget more money for tourism.

Williams also queried why current assets dropped from R 304 million to just R 86 million in the budget, but no answer was forthcoming.

Kouga Council votes for R 691 million budget

June 17, 2014

The ANC dominated Council approved a budget of R 690 789 751 at the recent Council meeting, despite voracious opposition from the DA.

arcadia

The bulk of the operational expenditure will once again go towards staff costs with a budget of R 213 286 840.
A provision for debt impairment was budgeted at 9 %.

“There is a depreciation figure of R 80 million which was queried by the DA as we have not seen an asset register and do not know what assets are being depreciated, “ said DA Caucus leader Chimpie Cawood.

Furthermore, no provision is being made for an asset replacement fund, despite R 80 million depreciation being budgeted for.

Income is being budgeted at R 616 122 918, with R 138 420 009 coming from assessment rates.

The DA did query the new valuation roll as there have been a number of complaints lodged by ratepayers, but once again, the ANC decided not to listen to the input from the opposition party in Kouga.

No mention or provision has been made in the Budget for judgements obtained by creditors against the Municipality.

We do not therefore know when next the Sheriff of the Court will pounce and attach more assets of the Municipality.

The AG in the 2012/13 financial year made provision for contingent liabilities for R 50 949 943 for claims against the Municipality as well as fines that could be imposed due to there being no permits for some of the land fill sites.

It appears that the repairs and maintenance budget of R 43 million could well be “redistributed” during this financial year, leaving Kouga residents in the lurch once again when it comes to service delivery.

The Municipality once again received a qualified audit opinion from the Auditor General. The AG’s report contained no less than 59 audit exceptions.