The upgrade of industrial nodes and the ailing city infrastructure and attracting investment were the important themes in the Tshwane mayor’s budget last week.
This Solly Msimanga said in a special briefing to media and other interested parties today.
Msimanga said he had consulted widely on his budget, and while there were things he could not control, he had made an effort to minimise the pinch of tariff increases on residents.
“We decided we would absorb some of the costs so we take the pressure off residents who would have difficulty in paying the rates.”
Msimanga said he had increased capital expenditure from R3,5 billion to R4 billion to enable the city to start upgrading the ailing infrastructure such as replacing the asbestos bulk water pipes that burst regularly.
He said the 21 percent increase in the maintenance budget was for preventative maintenance and upgrades. He said the city would also upgrade city electrical infrastructure to cope with the demand of mushrooming developments.
He said repair work to the substations compromised by vandalism and cable theft would be considered.
He said R100-million had been set aside for new vehicles and equipment which the anti-cable theft unit needed to fight cable theft and infrastructure vandalism.
Msimanga said he suspected some service delivery complaints were as a consequence of sabotage.
“In certain places, we have found dead calves in systems, cement bags, logs, bricks to intentionally block them…this shows sabotage.
I suspect this would worsen ahead of the elections.
We suspect some of our officials are complicit in some of this and are investigating.”
Msimanga said he did not know who all the perpetrators were, but the city was making “significant strides in stopping the rampant thieves in their tracks through arrests”.
He said R550-million was budgeted for revitalisation of the Waltloo, Babelegi and Centurion aerospace industrial nodes “so investment can now easily flow into these spaces and begin to unlock job, upskilling and training programmes for Tshwane residents”.
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