City accelerates delivery of change to Joburg residents – Herman Mashaba

Mayor says multi-party govt has sought to achieve greater savings to facilitate this

City accelerates delivery of change to Joburg residents

30 January 2018

I am pleased to announce that, today, Council has passed the City’s 2018/19 Adjustments Budget financial year.

Today’s approval of the 2018/19 Adjustments Budget is an historic moment for the City which has, for the first time, approved an Adjustments Budget in January – a month earlier than has been the practice in the past. This will afford departments and entities an additional opportunity to fully utilise their budgets and deliver on key projects which will drive service delivery.

During last year’s State of the City Address, I committed the multi-party coalition government to the Diphetogo Program, directly interpreted as to mean real and transformational change.

For the City, Diphetogo captures the idea that change is not an event but a process. This is why Diphetogo speaks to defining an end state for Johannesburg and ensuring that long-term planning and investment follows that goal.

Our multi-party government has focused on ensuring that our budgeting process supports those priorities which speak to communities’ most urgent needs through investment in our infrastructure, basic free services and our economy.

This has been done through the intense scrutiny of our existing budget and utilising it to ensure that resources are redirected to ensuring basic service delivery where it is needed most.

Overall, the Adjustments Budget has seen the City increase allocations to key infrastructure projects and Diphetogo priorities by over R 696 million as compared to the approved 2018/19 Budget.

Some of these key projects include:  

- R82 million additional spending for the electrification of informal settlements, bringing the budget to R200 million for 18/19;

R25 million additional spending is made available for the procurement of mobile clinics by the City, up from R5 million in the approved budget;

- R20 million additional spending for the installation of new public lighting city wide;

- R15 million for the procurement of a mobile sub-station to reduce power outages related to sub-station damage;

- R130 million for the electrification of Fleurhof and South Hills developments – crucial projects for addressing housing needs in the City;

- R50 million additional spending for the upgrading of Council-owned flats and old-age homes;

- R30 million additional spending for transitional housing in the Inner City to give effect to the City’s Inner City Revitalisation Plan;

- R50 million additional spending for the planned replacement of sewer lines to reduce the number of blockages;

R135 million is additionally allocated for road reconstruction and rehabilitation;

- The budget for traffic calming measures has been doubled to R20 million given the large number of requests received by residents, especially around schools;

- R35 million for upgrades to the City’s EMS, JMPD and Disaster Management Operations Centre in order to improve safety and security in in the City;

- R10 million for much need fire and rescue equipment including equipment used in urban search and rescue;

- R15 million for the expansion of the Olifantsvlei Cemetery to provide more burial space in the City; and

- The budget for the revamping of informal trading stalls within the inner-city is doubled to R20 million.

Since coming into office, the multi-party government has sought to achieve greater savings in order to provide residents with increased service delivery through the introduction of austerity measures focused on reducing self-promoting advertising; marketing; domestic and international travel; consulting and professional fees; and conferences and seminars.

In the 2017/18 financial year, the audited financials indicate a saving of over R446 million compared to the 2015/16 financial year. This reflects our commitment to redirecting previously wasted funds of the past towards service delivery priorities of our communities.

Through the Diphetogo programme the 2018/19 financial year has seen an increase in the capital budget for transport, electricity, water and housing from 58% (2017/18) to 69%. These critical areas will receive a further R300 million in the adjustments budget passed in Council today. Service delivery issues that plague our communities arise from these institutional backlogs, and prioritisation of spend in these areas will continue to campaign to improve the lives of our residents. 

One of the main challenges presented to our administration during the 2018/19 financial year related to the reduction in the City’s Human Settlements Developmental Grant, which is crucial for delivering critical housing projects.

Following engagements with the MEC for Gauteng CoGTA and Human Settlements, Dikgang Uhuru Moiloa, regarding this, the City and the Department have agreed to the following:

- Province is to publish a special gazette re-allocating R67 million for the South Hills Development to the City;

- R68 million is to be rolled over by the Province to the City in the current financial year, which has been approved. In addition, the City still will retain the almost R69 million which was announced in the in revised gazette published last year;

- Province has agreed to honour its commitment in terms of the tripartite agreement for the Riverside development, in the current financial year, to the tune of R63 million; and

- In addition, R33 million is to be honoured by Province with respect to the Fleurhof Development in line with an agreement with the contractor to build high-rise units.

This will take Province’s financial commitments to R300 million for housing developments in the current financial year within the City.

Once this agreement has been officially gazette by Provincial Government, the City will bring a further report to Council to amend the adjustment budget and deviation report in respect to housing so as to account for these re-allocations. We expect this to take place in the coming month.

I have already thanked MEC Moiloa for seeing reason following our representations on the matter.

I would like to convey my deepest appreciation to the members of the multi-party coalition who continue to work together to achieve change for the residents of the City of Johannesburg.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to the EFF and AIC, who supported this adjustment budget on its merits, and have once again demonstrated their commitment to the people of our City.

As a City, we remain on the path to delivering the change so desperately needed by our residents through Diphetogo and creating a civil service which continuously works in the best interests of our residents. 

Issued by Luyanda Mfeka, Director of Communications, Office of the Executive Mayor, 30 January 2019