The municipal mayor, Cllr Samuel Munyai, hands over the keys of new vehicles to the municipal manager, Mr Freddy Tshivhengwa.
As usual taxpayers will have to bear the burden of increased expenditure at the Makhado Municipality. During his annual budget speech last Friday, the mayor announced above inflation tariff increases, with electricity tariffs rising with 13.07%.
The mayor, Cllr Samuel Munyai, mentioned that the municipality does not have many options as far as electricity tariffs are concerned, as these are guided by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa. He announced an increase of 5,2% in property rates, as well as all other services such as refuse removal, cemetery tariffs and licence fees.
An enthusiastic mayor presented his budget last Friday at the Makhado Showground in the presence of prominent local politicians, municipal officials, traditional leaders and residents.
He said the municipality can achieve its goals by allowing itself to be subjected to public scrutiny and restoring the confidence of all stakeholders in local government and public service.
“It is therefore imperative on our part as the council that we maximise planning, decision making and implementation efficiency to embrace the principle of value for money, accountability and service excellence,” he said.
The municipality has budgeted R251 million for general expenses including other expenditure, contracted services and other materials for 2019/2020 financial year.
It is estimated that the total salary bill for the upcoming financial year will be R284 million which also includes the budgeted positions in the organisational structure. The salary cost represents 30% of the municipality’s total operational budget. It is R12 million more than the R267 794 revised budget for salaries in the 2017/18 financial year.
“A total of 20 budget-related policies were adopted by the Council to ensure compliance with legislation and treasury regulations,” said Cllr Munyai.
The municipality’s final operational revenue budget for the 2019/2020 is estimated at R960 million while operational expenditure is estimated at R958 million. The capital expenditure is estimated at R203 million.
The municipality is expecting to receive grants from five sources. A total of R357 528 million will be received from the Equitable Share budget from National Treasury. Makhado municipality will get R89 577 million as a Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG), R1,7 million will come from the Financial Management Grant (FMG) with R1,8 million from the Expanded Public Works Program (EPWP) and R20 million coming from the Integrated National Electricity Program.
The mayor stated they are busy communicating with Road Agency Limpopo (RAL) to conclude a Memorandum of Agreement for the construction and upgrading of roads from gravel to tar.
Under the MIG and RAL allocations, the municipality is expected to undertake a total of eight capital projects in this financial year. The projects include access roads, fencing of the Makhado municipal cemetery as well as the construction of phase 2 of the Waterval sports facility Phase. An estimated R85,7 million is expected to be utilised for these projects.
Meanwhile, the water and sanitation backlog in the municipality is sitting at 31% of total households. According to the mayor, the municipality is experiencing water shortages as a result of the delay in the completion of the bulk pipeline from Nandoni Dam.
The municipality promised to support youth owned SMME’s and cooperatives. While the establishment of the University of Venda’s satellite campus in Louis Trichardt seems to be well underway, the mayor’s office has established a multi-stakeholder task team to develop the terms of reference and scope of the project.
“Council will review the resolution on land donated to the University of Venda so that it covers the proposed and future development of the campus in our town,” said Munyai.
As one of the main central themes to his speech, Cllr Munyai emphasised that the municipality would continue to participate in the Musina/Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with the understanding that the SEZ will create job opportunities.
He said the upgrading of the Makhado Crossing Mall is continuing. This regional mall has the potential to create an estimated 700 permanent jobs when completed.
In the previous financial year the municipality moved from adverse audit opinion to a qualified audit opinion, the mayor said. “Our goal is to achieve an unqualified audit opinion, because we need to reassure our communities that our finances are in good hands,” he said.
Date:15 June 2019 - By: Phathutshedzo Luvhengo