A message to uMngeni Residents - Chris Pappas

Mayor explains what the municipality's money is being spent on as the new budget year begins



Dear uMngeni Residents,

The new budget year has started. The municipal budget runs from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023. The financial year is then broken down into quarters. As money comes in every month and as grants are paid to the municipality we are able to spend money on service delivery.


We are in the final stages of appointing service providers for work scheduled to be completed in the first quarter. Some of this work includes:

R3.4 million to resurface Amber Ave

R4.1 million to resurface Dick St

R1 million to effect repairs to Curry’s Post Road

In addition to the above, work packages for different areas have been put together in order to continue with our work on potholes. This will be done by both in house teams as well as contractors.

The municipality has also finalized an innovative new policy that allows us to partner with big developers or capital funders in order to speed up capital projects such as roads, street lights, sidewalks, etc. We are currently working on our first of a kind project that we will use as a pilot.

The Municipality has signed an MOU with SANRAL. The MOU requires that SANRAL do repairs to Hilton Ave and Old Howick Road. This is to compensate for the increased traffic volumes and pressures on those roads caused by the N3.

The municipality was made aware of some poor workmanship. This was investigated and contractors will rectify.

Most of our roads need complete resurfacing. Patch jobs will only last so long. The cost of building and maintain roads is exorbitant. High bitumen and raw material costs only add to the burden. uMngeni currently has no roads master plan. Such a plan will cost about R2.5 million to have done.


The parts for the old High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and High Pressure Mercury Vapour (HPMV) street lights have become very expensive and hard to come by. This has an effect on our ability to repair street lights. What we will be doing is repairing street lights where it is a simple light bulb issue or a photocell issue. We will completely replace street lights with new LED lights where the repairs are more the just photocell or bulbs. It is better for us to replace an entire street with LED lights than to do them on an ad hoc basis. Our electricity department is working on a plan to systematically replace all the street lights in uMngeni. R4 million will be spent on retrofitting LED lights. This is in addition to the annual maintenance budget.

For the past 7 months we have been fighting with Eskom to get the authority to repair street lights in their supply areas (Notties, Howick West/South, Lidgetton and Merrivale). We have finally managed to get authorization which means uMngeni Municipality can start work on those areas.

The following is the plan going forward (if there are no delays):

1. WO-0329: For the 41 Lights on Main Road from Water Tower to the Railway Bridge. Work is currently in Progress

2. WO-0345: The Repair of Lights on the R103 in Merrivale. Works Order issued. Due to start on the 1st August.

3. Residential areas of Merrivale. Planned for 15th – 30th August

4. Howick West and South: Planned for 1st - 15th September

5. Lidgetton: Planned for 15th – 30th September

6. Nottingham Road: Planned for 15th – 30th September


4 months ago uMngeni engaged with Msunduzi Municipality about the level of service being offered to Hilton residents: including the number of outages. A number of promises were made by Msunduzi. These were communicated to residents.

Some of the improvements that we have noted:

A number of street lights have been repaired

The frequency of outages has decreased

The level of communication has improved

Line clearing has taken place in some areas

A follow up meeting is scheduled for the 24th August where uMngeni will get feedback on our Service Level Agreement. R150 000 has been assigned for legal assistance for this process.


Illegal dumping remains a challenge. We urge residents not to dump or litter. It costs us millions of Rands a year to clean up after people.

5 new refuse compactor trucks will be purchased this year. These will be purchased in phases each quarter. This will help us to reduce the number of delays that we experience due to a shortage of vehicles.

The landfill site is operating much better. Although we still have regular breakdowns of machinery we will be purchasing the following equipment this year to assist: tipper truck, TLB, excavator, bulldozer, landfill compactor.

In total we will be spending R24 million between now and June 2023 on new refuse and landfill equipment. This will be spent over 3 allocations. The first R7 million has been allocated.

In the next few months we will be implementing a pilot project in the Midlands area (Tweedie to Notties). This will involve a much more comprehensive waste collection plan. New services will be available in areas that they have not been. The specifications are being finalized for contract.

The municipality is looking to reallocate R1.8 million for a weighbridge. This will ensure better control at the site and bring in extra revenue for the municipality.


Our Eskom bill is still up to date. Our winter bill as uMngeni has risen to R22 million a month.


Each municipality is required to documents and keep record of poor and vulnerable households. These households qualify for free basic services. These services are supplemented by a grant from the national government that is paid to the municipality. 8 months ago when taking office there were 133 people on the uMngeni indigent register. Today there are over 3050 people on the register. This means that 3050 households are benefitting from free basic services and the municipality is able to claim grant funding instead of using property rates to cross subsidize. We have also significantly increased the assistance to poor and vulnerable households. The qualifying criteria has been increased from R3500 to R5000 total household income. These households will be rate exempt and will also have refuse collected for free. Each household receives 150 units of free basic electricity. If you know of someone who qualifies please encourage them to register.


The municipality has intensified our fight against illegal electricity usage. Meter audits and disconnections are ongoing. Those who cannot afford to pay for electricity must register for the above mentioned programme. The municipality is considering contracting a private investigator to apprehend those people who are involved in illegal connections.


The municipality now has a development and investment policy in place. This policy allows for extensive rebates for new developers and businesses. The incentive policy also acknowledges the need to encourage existing businesses to hire more and create jobs. Interested parties can contact [email protected]


The traffic department is still struggling with operational vehicles. In order to remedy this situation we are looking at purchasing a number of vehicles or entering into a long terms lease agreement. This process should be finalized in the next 45 days.

The municipality will soon be opening a pound. This will allow us to impound vehicles and will provide our traffic officers with proper facilities for the first time.


Cllr CJ Pappas


uMngeni Local Municipality