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Mogalakwena Mayor Andrina Matsemela tabled the 2017/18 budget vote of the Mogalakwena Municipality on 13 July 2017. She presented the the 2017/18 final Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and Medium-Term Revenue and Expenditure Framework (MTREF) budget as per Section 24 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA). It is an absolute pleasure to present the IDP and budget for the first time in the term of the new council following the Local Government elections in August 2016.
In her speech, the Mayor said that “if we are to improve our performance as a municipality, we need to improve our operational efficiency and responsiveness.”
Here is an edited copy of the speech:
“The IDP and budget were prepared not without challenges due to the labour unrest of the 2015/16. The implications emanating from this situation had far reaching consequences which in a way affected the budgeting of the 2016/17 financial year and by default has affected the 2017/18 financial.
Though the municipality had challenges, it can still pride itself in that it managed to deliver services to the people under difficult circumstances.
It is important to note that the IDP and budget for 2017/18 is funded with realistically anticipated revenue sources and it also takes into consideration all the requirements of our SDBIP.
The main purpose of this IDP and budget is in the main to identify projects that should be funded for implementation in the 2017/18 MTREF. Furthermore, this budget will not address any possible unauthorised expenditure with regard to non-cash expenditure items off-setting depreciation, bad debt provision, provision for fines bad debt impairment, leave provision, rehabilitation of landfill site provision, long service bonus provision and medical aid provision for continued members after retirement and additional budget allocation requests due to tight budget as alluded to earlier.
The Acting Municipal Manager and Acting Chief Financial Officer and their team, based on the mandate given to them, compiled the budget and highlighted the following key political priorities:
Water and Sanitation; Roads and Storm Water; Electricity; Institutional arrangements; Refuse and solid waste management; Sports, Arts and Culture; LED and Unemployment; Crime prevention, Safety & Security; Land and Cemeteries; Housing; Communication; Education; Transport; Community facilities; and Health & Welfare.
We present for approval a total annual budget of R1.4-billion for the 2017/18 financial year. This is made up of R885.1-million operating expenditure and R486.1-million for capital expenditure. However, we will appropriate a three year capital budget of R933.2-million, to 2019/20.
Capital budget allocations have been made in line with the Capital Investment Framework which seeks to:
* Contribute towards the eradication of service delivery backlogs, especially in poor and marginalised areas by prioritising capital projects in these areas;
* Ensure improved management of the municipality’s existing infrastructure;
* Improve new service delivery through infrastructure and services that are planned, delivered and managed in an objective and structured manner;
* Prioritise projects and programmes through a strategic and spatially linked information system, the Capital Investment Management System (CIMS), in the context of a limited capital budget.
The following factors will continue to put constraints on the municipality’s 2017/2018 budget:
* The municipality has budgeted for a 7.36% increase in employee salaries.
* R30 000 000 has been budgeted for the implementation of job evaluation results currently being conducted by SALGA. However the amount budgeted may not be sufficient since it must be taken into account that the implementation of job evaluation will be backdated to March 2016.
* Excessive water and electricity losses put a burden on the municipality as it is revenue that is uncollectable.
* The revenue enhancement strategy has been reviewed and presented to the EXCO on the 22 May 2017.
* The electricity tariff increase for the 2017/18 as per the proposal from NERSA is 1.88%.
* The proposed water tariff increase for the 2017/18 as per Lepelle-Northern Water is 8.5%.
Our council has learned from the collective wisdom of our gallant predecessors by adopting a “youth lens” in developing our plans. Economic youth empowerment will remain our central programmatic imperative. We have established an interim youth forum to co-ordinate youth activities. With the voluntary work from the office of the mayor, the interim youth forum has successfully co-ordinated training in capacity and welding for hundred young people across our municipal Service Delivery Areas (SDA’s).
The council has decided to place our youth at the centre of development and no longer at the periphery. Our women are the base, our youth is the future. Creating more and better jobs lies at the heart of any government strategy at all levels to fight poverty, reduce inequality and address rural development.
Another ground-breaking initiative from the youth was the birth of Drug Addicts and Addicted Criminals (DAAC) and the Andrina Matsemela treatment centre. The hardworking young men and women identified substance abuse as the most devastating phenomenon prevalent in all our local areas. DAAC came up with treatment services of addicts and so far 20 drug addicts have graduated from their programme and more than 300 drug addicts are on the waiting list. Just a few weeks ago, they presented a gigantic trophy as they won the Best Youth Project from the provincial government. This is a clarion call to all our people to rise in unison and fight side by side to conquer this emerging monster of Nyaope addiction and other similar hallucinatory drugs.
Working together, we will be able to defeat unemployment, inequality and wanton poverty. This country of ours is abundantly sprinkled with seeds of goodwill. Let us therefore, work together energetically, black and white, united in diversity, so as to overcome any obstacle that may stumble our way towards success and prosperity.
Stop telling God how big your storm is, instead, tell the storm how big your God is.
We have a number of off-take agreements with the Italian government regarding the supply of agricultural products, which include among others tomatoes, peanuts, sugar beans, cotton, tobacco, goat milk and goat meat.
We call upon our traditional leaders and farmers to prepare themselves for this bright future and economic boom. Added to this, we have also secured investments in a wide variety of sectorial priorities like green energy, water, recycling etc.
Mining is one of our priority sectors in our local economy. Our agent priority in this regard is to formulate a mining development strategy for Mogalakwena to address future mining operations in pro-active manner. This will serve a guideline to map the way forward regarding relations between the mining houses and the municipality.
Our host mine communities are constantly at loggerheads with mines on keys issues such as Social Labour Plans (SLP’s) and other social responsibility programmes. More often than not these communities complain that they were not consulted when decisions were made.
We hold the view that maximum public participation and stakeholder engagements are vital for mutual understanding and peaceful co-existence. We are calling upon all our mining houses in collaboration with the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and other relevant stakeholders to support and plan their development initiatives in partnerships with the municipality.
Public private partnerships are the surest stepping stones to achieve accelerated development and sustained growth. In not so too distant a future I will convene mining roundtable discussions to develop a collective roadmap going forward.
We are inspired by efforts of some of our local mining houses in their pursuit to the upliftment of our rural communities.
Ideally, mining houses must align their plans with the municipal Intergraded Development Plans (IPD). This is a legislative imperative that should be adhered to at all times.
On Tourism promotion Mogalakwena is known for its natural beauty and internationally acclaimed Heritage sites and other tourism attraction facilities. It forms part of the Waterberg Biosphere, Makapans Valley, Masebe Nature Reserve to name but a few. There are immense opportunities in the tourism sector and our youth must be encouraged to play an active role in this economic sector.
We have identified revenue enhancement and credit control as key towards sustaining our municipal services. We will be initiating various programmes aimed at enhancing our revenue and improving the balance sheet of our municipality. Programmes such as street parking management, smart metering, debt consolidation for our customers, repairing leakages, energy efficiency programme such as solar geyser and recycling of waste.
Our focus will be on establishing efficient satellite offices in Mahwelereng and Rebone for customer care.
On property development, the tender processes for the establishment of the regional mall and motor city are at an advanced stage. We are the only municipality which still has land. To utilise this productive asset, we are intending to develop properties within the municipality to increase the property values that will add to the revenue.
Ultimately, this is our supreme endeavour to create an integrated Business Development Propeller for both urban and rural development that will help us establish world class incubator for mining input, supply park and Agri-Parks. It is out believe that the big business should propel Small Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME’s) and creates for SMME’s to grow.