R80bn budget for ‘the people’

Dada Morero. | Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Dada Morero. | Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 15, 2023


Johannesburg - The City of Joburg’s finance MMC Dada Morero has delivered a budget speech peppered with good intentions for Johannesburg residents, and called for the reprioritisation of the people of the city through housing, healthcare, and other services.

He also accused the DA, as the leader of the previous coalition-led administrators, of having “blown it with the city’s funds”, following a series of mismanagement of the previous budget allocations.

Morero said the DA-led coalition had left the city’s coffers empty, when he delivered the city’s proposed budget of over R80 billion for the 2023/24 financial year.

"Fortunately in 2023, we have the policy tools and programme resources that can be mobilised, such as the National Development Plan (NDP), the Joburg Growth and Development Strategy 2040, the District Development Model (DDM), and the Urban Integrated Development Framework (UIDF). Let us use them to maximise our impact and change lives," he said.

Morero committed the ANC-led coalition to ending or reducing the impact of load shedding through roof-top solar and battery storage programmes, with the help of the national government and the city, among other measures.

With parts of the city experiencing challenges with the provision of water services, Morero urged the ward councillors to activate the Water Resilience Action Plan.

“We also welcome the Water Resilience Action Plan, which will form the foundation of the national bulk water supply and waste-water treatment plant infrastructure rehabilitation and energy efficiency interventions within the water reticulation and sewer systems.

“We have also implemented the Northern Wastewater Treatment Works, and therefore we have experience to share," he said.

The finance MMC also said the city was allocating R3.1 billion to Joburg Water in a bid to replace water and sewage infrastructure.

Last year, the previous administration set aside R930 million to serve the same purpose.

Sewer upgrades will be made in many areas, including Orange Farm, Lanseria, Soweto, Diepsloot, Ennerdale and Cosmo City.

“Joburg Water’s capacity upgrade and renewal programmes cater for the augmentation of water supply and the renewal of ageing infrastructure,” Morero said.

He said the city is committed to rebuilding the the metro’s finances, “which were depleted by the previous administration, and it will do so through collective governance by reducing water and electricity losses, improving productivity, and exploring alternative funding options”.

“Let us make the impossible possible by making Joburg a centre for sustainable services,” he said.

Environment and infrastructure development; housing; City Power; Joburg Water; and the Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) are the backbone agencies of basic service delivery to the residents of Joburg, the MMC said.

The estimates propose a capital budget of R14.9bn across the medium term and an operational expenditure budget of R45bn in the 2023/24 financial year, allocated to the sustainable services cluster, Morero said.

The Star