Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda delivered an optimistic overview of eThekwini Municipality’s financial standing during a full council meeting on Monday, highlighting the city’s robust financial health despite global economic challenges. The municipality boasts a surplus exceeding R1 billion and is poised to welcome tens of thousands of visitors over the upcoming festive season.

Mayor Kaunda emphasized the municipality’s resilience in the face of adversities, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, civil unrest in 2021, and recent floods affecting the region. As of November 2023, the municipality’s cash on hand has rebounded to R7.6 billion, well within National Treasury norms.

The fiscal strength is underscored by a healthy current ratio of 1.56 times as of October 2023, with a surplus of R1.48 billion resulting from total income of R18.87 billion and total expenditure of R17.39 billion.

Mayor Kaunda outlined key interventions to reinforce the capital budget, including enhanced monitoring and procurement planning, along with a commitment to fully expand grant funding by the fiscal year’s end.

Addressing infrastructural challenges, the mayor highlighted measures to mitigate water and electricity losses, including the systematic installation of Pressure Reducing Valves and the replacement of domestic water meters.

Rate clearance efficiency, a crucial indicator of economic vitality, was also addressed. Mayor Kaunda commended the revenue unit for accelerating the rate clearance process, reaching 83.94% by the end of November.

In defense of credit control measures, Mayor Kaunda disclosed the establishment of a disconnection committee, which has successfully disconnected services for over 90,000 customers owing a collective R7.97 billion for water and electricity. The city has achieved higher-than-budgeted collections of R17.3 billion in the last five months.

The municipality’s commitment to social considerations was highlighted through the approval of a debt relief program, with 8,114 applications valued at R712 million in capital debt and R74 million in interest debt. The mayor expressed confidence that more customers would take advantage of the program as it concludes this month.

Mayor Kaunda also provided an update on the land release strategy, announcing the awarding of 11 properties to black and youth-owned companies, prioritizing empowerment through property ownership.

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