DA KZN applauds caring uMngeni budget

Issued by Francois Rodgers – DA KZN Provincial Leader
17 May 2024 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbite by DA KZN Provincial Leader, Francois Rodgers, who attended today’s budget speech at the DA-governed uMngeni Local Municipality.

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal welcomes the pro-poor, balanced, well-thought through budget delivered today by uMngeni Local Municipality Mayor, Chris Pappas, which was approved. The budget is focused on service delivery, job creation and accountability, as seen through the dismissal of 9 senior officials for reasons ranging from misconduct to poor performance.

Like many municipalities, uMngeni still has a way to go in achieving the desired rate of revenue collection which is being addressed through several programs by the DA-led government. Such interventions have allowed the Mayor to announce a projected revenue increase from R577.9 million to R614.6 million.

When it comes to crime and the issue of community safety in the uMngeni municipality, efforts will be bolstered through the additional hiring of 5 new traffic wardens while the rollout of the second phase of the municipal CCTV network will get under way. Through cost saving measures, the DA-led government has saved the municipality at least R4 million which has been allocated to a law enforcement control room which has boosted uMngeni’s fight against crime.

As a caring DA-led municipality, the Mayor of uMngeni today also announced interventions to assist poorer households such as free basic electricity, which is the highest allocation in the province. This means, households and residents with an income of R5000 or less will qualify for 200kw/h of free power. This includes the extension of the validity period for rebates for the elderly to three years. This means residents who qualify for old-age rebates now need not apply each year. As a further measure to assist poorer residents, the municipality will only rate properties with a value of R350 000 and upwards.

Being one of the fastest developing municipalities in KZN, we are also pleased by the announcement of the increased investment into infrastructure repair announced by Mayor Pappas. This translates to an amount of R48,8 million which will go towards the repair of roads, rehabilitation and construction.

Waste management and the environment have also been among the outstanding interventions shared by the mayor, which include the purchase of a tipper truck and an TLB vehicle to improve the clearing of illegal dumping. This falls within the R8.5 million allocated towards the purchase of new vehicles including a grader, tipper truck, tractor, bakkie, and traffic vehicles.

Small businesses help boost the local economy and to this end we are pleased that the mayor of uMngeni has announced budget allocations for this year which among others include R1 million for the Mpophomeni trading complex, and the allocation of R1,9 million towards SMMEs, tourism and informal traders.

It was not surprising that the ANC chose to oppose the budget, however, this is to be expected from a party that only seeks to line the pockets of its those connected to the ANC using municipal funds and tenders.