All councillors in the City of Joburg have a single, common interest. That interest is the City, its people, its business, and its progress.
This was at the heart of the R59 billion budget speech, where plans for the City’s 2018/19 financial year were outlined by MMC for Finance, Funzela Ngobeni.
“I argue that we all agree that more focus must be given to providing housing, we agree on the need for economic growth that creates jobs and we agree that we need more emphasis on addressing backlogs in our infrastructure,” he said.
The R59-billion budget for the 2018/19 financial year represents an operating budget of R51 billion and a capital expenditure budget of R7,8 billion, of which R4,7 billion will be self-funded and the remaining R3,1 billion will come from grants and public contributions.
There have been concerns raised by the African National Congress that the City’s finances are in a dire state.
But Ngobeni responded to this in his speech, saying National Treasury has benchmarked and assessed the proposed budget for the 2018/19 financial year and found that it is aligned to the Integrated Development Plan.
“And, despite all the malicious rumours of financial instability, National Treasury has determined that this budget is sustainable, credible and funded without risk,” he said.
He did also say that the City has taken the approach of stabilising its finances and ‘adopted fiscal discipline in our budget allocations going forward’.
Ngobeni said the City will, through its fiscal management, ensure maintenance of a sustainable cash flow of the medium term so that it builds up sufficient reserves toward future capital investments.
It will also see borrowings used to increase internally generated reserves.
The debate on the budget speech is set for 29 May.