SWARTLAND: New budget unanimously adopted

Thursday the Council of the Swartland Municipality unanimously adopted the municipal budget for the new financial year, starting on 1 July 2022. This unanimous approval was accompanied by positive feedback from various parties represented in Council on the detailed and considered projects that will receive attention in the coming years.
This is the first budget delivered by the new Council following their election in November 2021. Executive Mayor, Harold Cleophas said that it was a great honour for him to deliver his first State of the Municipality address as the Mayor of Swartland. He also gave feedback on his first six months in office, highlighting several areas where progress has been made which include:

  1. Cleaning and illegal dumping: 120 people have been deployed via the EPWP program to every ward in our town to assist with cleaning and keeping all wards clean. An illegal dumping committee has been convened to find solutions for this challenge and we are investigating the upgrading and beatification of problematic and challenging public spaces for the benefit of the community.
  2. Siyamamela: A continuing program where the executive mayor, officials and councillors walk the streets and engage directly with residents to discuss challenges and issues.
  3. Law Enforcement: Operational hours of law enforcement and traffic services are under review to explore the possibility of a 24-hour service.
    The establishment of a response unit is being implemented with the successful applicants currently receiving training.
    The aim is to deploy more officials in the community.

4.During this past financial year (2021/22) 96% of Capital Budget was spent and 95% of operation budget was spent. The collection rate on municipal bills is 96,7%, indicating an affordable basket of services.
Tariff increases are inevitable. It is a challenge to find the balance between sustainability and affordability.
Every effort was made to ensure that services remain affordable for our residents. The following tariff increases will be implemented from 1 July 2022:
Electricity:- The Municipality has limited its final increase to 7.47%.
Household prepaid tariff has however been limited to only 6.8%, which is below the increase allowed by NERSA. Against this background, the municipality will pay 8.61% more to ESKOM resulting in the cost of supply increasing to R332 million for the year.
Water:-Water will increase by 4.5% for the first 15 kilolitre and thereafter 5.9% for residential consumers.
Refuse removal:- Refuse removal will increase with 7.5%.
This service is currently rendered at a loss and this increase is needed to deliver services effectively and to phase out the deficit over a longer term.
Sewerage: -In order to prevent this service being rendered at a loss in the new financial year, this tariff will increase with 5.9%.
The separate tariff for the basic network charge for sewerage connections and pumping which amounted to R120.87 and introduced during the current year, has been removed, effective 1 July 2022.
Property rates: -The property rates increase for 2022/ 2023 is 4.9% for residential properties and 6.5% for businesses and state-owned properties. Increases over the remaining MTREF period is limited to 5.9% for residential and 6.9% for business and state-owned properties.
We have also made ample provision to assist and support especially the poor in our communities. Approximately R82 million has been budgeted to fund free basic services to registered Indigent households:
The subsidised basket for indigent households includes:
• Rates subsidised to the value of R105 000
• Free 50 kWh electricity
• 6 kilolitres of water free
• Free refuse removal per month
• Free sewerage per month
This adds up to a total of R924.56 per month per month for indigent households.
“Beyond this we also render much needed assistance to institutions including but not limited to Huis van Heerde, Jo Dolphin and the SPCA.”
The largest cut of the capital budget for this coming three financial years is dedicated to infrastructure services.
Creating strong and reliable infrastructure services ensures the Municipality’s capacity to support a growing economy and economically viable environment.

Highlights include:
• R16,18 million for the completion of the Moorreesburg wastewater treatment works .
• R1,99 million for a new vacuum tanker to extend the sewerage capacity.
• R73,8 million for the resealing of roads across the Swartland
• R12,17 million for the construction of sidewalks and recreational nodes in Illingelethu and Wesbank
• R76 million for the Malmesbury Schoonspruit substation, including the transmission line and necessary servitudes.
Over the next three financial years:
• R1 million has been budgeted for the
Darling GAP housing project
• R 300 000 for Chatsworth Serviced Sites
• R18,5 million for the purchasing of land
in Silvertown
• R2,4 million for the purchasing of land from
Transnet in Kalbaskraal
• R20, 941 million for the continuation of the
De Hoop projects
These projects are all dependant on the promised funding from the Department of Human Settlements.
Another R200 000 was budgeted for the repair of the vandalised floodlights at the Mal-
mesbury Wesbank floodlights for the coming financial year.
In the current economic climate, there are more demands than ever on our very limited resources.
Mayor Cleophas said: “We know that everyone will want and expect more from this budget. We have however made every effort to ensure an equal distribution so that all our residents and communities will benefit from this new budget.”