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Address to Council on Tabling of Draft Budget <p>​Madame Speaker, <br>Fellow City of Cape Town councillors, <br>Colleagues from the City of Cape Town, <br>Honoured guests and members of the public, <br>Goeie môre, molweni, as-salam alaykum, good morning.<br>And to all of our residents who will begin the fast this weekend, we wish you a very blessed holy month of Ramadaan. </p><p>Introduction</p><p>Madam Speaker, I stand before council today with the sense that while our country — and indeed the world — is going through a challenging time, there is real cause for optimism and hope in Cape Town. </p><span> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure></span><p>Just as economies around the world started to recover from the collapse triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the global economic outlook has once again deteriorated. <br>Earlier this month — because of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine — the global price of crude oil reached US$120 a barrel, up from US$75 a barrel at the beginning of the year. Rising fuel costs make everything else more expensive, and putting food on the table becomes a greater struggle. </p><p>The South African jobs figures released this week showed that official unemployment has reached an all-time high of 35,3% nationally. The Western Cape is now the only place in the country where expanded unemployment is below 40%.</p><p>We have a deep crisis of joblessness and poverty in South Africa. We also have a crisis of governance. </p><p>Because of corruption, theft, mismanagement and inefficiency, fewer than 6% of our municipalities are considered financially stable. 163 out of 257 local municipalities in the country are in full-blown financial distress and are thus unable to improve their residents’ lives.</p><p>I am proud to say that in Cape Town, the opposite is true. </p><p>Our commitment to fiscal discipline, clean governance, and efficiency has put Cape Town in a position to do more for its residents at a time when people across the country are having to make do with less.</p><p>Our total budget for this year stands at R61,5 billion. And we have been able to increase the budget without implementing above-inflation rates increases – Cape Town already has the lowest residential and commercial property rates of any metro in South Africa, and we plan to keep it that way. Rates will increase by 5,2% this year. </p><p>We have also been able to put this budget together while asking for only inflation-related increases on our service tariffs. Tariffs on refuse will increase by 5%, water and sanitation by 5%, with an additional 1.5% specifically for expanding access to water to the poorest residents living in informal settlements.</p><p>All of these increases are in line with or below inflation forecasts for the coming year. These increases are also the lowest of any metro in the country that has tabled its budget thus far. </p><p>Madam Speaker, this budget underpins the City’s five-year strategic plan — the Integrated Development Plan — which outlines our bold vision of a city of hope for every resident. The draft IDP is also tabled today. </p><p>It is a plan to do more, with big, ambitious projects that will give rise to more prosperity and better lives in our city. </p><p>Doing more for safety </p><p>Madam Speaker, this is a budget to do more for safety. </p><p>In my inauguration speech, I pledged to do more to protect our residents from crime and ensure we get criminals off the streets.<br>We need to do more for people like Eleanore Campher in Mitchells Plain. Mrs Campher lives with her two daughters next to an alleyway that is frequently used as an escape route for gangsters. This family have become so afraid of violent crime that they now take shifts throughout the night, keeping watch for criminals. </p><p>We need to do more for the mother of the 15-year-old boy who was shot by gangsters in Hillview last Tuesday night. I will never forget the image of her weeping on the ground next to her son’s body, covered in a baby-blue blanket. We must do more to end the killing and the senseless violence. It angers me that the SA Police Service and the national government continues to under-service the most violent areas of Cape Town and surrender our residents to criminals. This budget is an attempt to fill the gap left by SAPS.  </p><p>We were elected on a pledge to make Cape Town safer by deploying hundreds more officers, and the latest crime-fighting tech. So I am very pleased to announce that in our very first budget, we are providing for 150 new officers and 80 new auxiliaries, for a total of 230 new officers in one year. </p><p>We’re also starting a new protection unit for frontline staff and community facilities. Our investment this year will enable 24 hour operationalisation; increase training capacity; and offer support for neighbourhood watches and community policing.</p><p>The second half of our pledge was for crime fighting technology. In our first budget, we are today providing for technology like body cameras and dashboard cameras for our officers, drone and aerial surveillance technology, gunshot-location pinning, and more CCTV. </p><p>Through the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP), we have, to date, deployed 1000 extra law enforcement officers, focused in the 11 worst hotspots in the city. This investment is showing results, with violent crime statistics dramatically down in Cape Town, and with Nyanga and Kraaifontein dropping off the murder-capital lists that they have dominated for a decade.  </p><p>I want to acknowledge the bravery and commitment of our officers. Today we have Inspector David Sanderson seated in the gallery, one of our law enforcement officers who uncovered 1500 rounds of illegal ammunition and several illegal firearms in Belhar.</p><p>We also welcome Senior Inspector Juan Adams and the Charlie shift from Hanover Park. Senior Inspector Adams and his shift team have recovered no less than 11 illegal firearms since they were deployed a few months ago, including SAPS-issue firearms that found their way into criminal hands. </p><p>Today these officers receive commendation from the City of Cape Town, and the thanks of a grateful city. We thank you, officers. You are doing more to keep Capetonians safe and we will do more to support you in your crucial mission. </p><p>Doing more for water and sanitation</p><p>Doing more for water and sanitation, Madam Speaker, is another crucial aspect of this budget. We have pledged to do the basics better to ensure our residents can live healthy and dignified lives. </p><p>We need to do more for the lady I met in her home in Solomon Tshuku Drive in Khayelitsha. She was an 80 year-old grandmother who has difficulty walking.  I was deeply angered to see that the living room where she spent most of her time literally had sewage leaking through the floors. The stench was unbearable. </p><p>To offer immediate relief so that she no longer suffers such indignity, we have replaced two kilometres of sewerage pipes in her neighbourhood, and have upgraded a local pump station to make it much more secure against theft and vandalism.</p><p>But, Speaker, the brutal truth is that the City has not sufficiently invested in maintenance, refurbishment, and replacement of our sewerage infrastructure. <br>The poor state of our infrastructure network threatens the health, well-being and dignity of every person who lives in Cape Town. </p><p>The problems are extensive and require major infrastructure investment. We are taking immediate action to fix these problems. On top of the R25 million we budgeted in January, we add another R24 million for jet vac vehicles to provide immediate relief to the number of blocked sewers and the length of time it takes to get them unblocked. Residents can expect more preventative jetting and clearing of the sewer system and faster responsiveness on sewer spills. </p><p>As a first step towards fixing our water and sanitation infrastructure, and safeguarding our water resilience, we will spend at least R8 billion on water and sanitation infrastructure in the next 3 years, with R1,6 billion this financial year alone.</p><p>This amount includes R406 million for the replacement of the Cape Flats Main Sewer, R755 million for the replacement and upgrading of pipes on our sewer network, and R300 million for the replacement and upgrading of pipes on our water network. We will double our pipe replacement to 50 kilometres this year, and in 2023 we will double it again to 100 kilometres. We will spend four times more than we did last year on pipe replacement – not double, or triple, but quadruple. </p><p>We are doing more to repair and upgrade pump stations and sewers, and moving ahead rapidly with major upgrades to wastewater treatment works. <br>The bold action that we have begun to take on water and sanitation will ensure that sewer spills, sewer collapses, and other water and sanitation emergencies are less common occurrences in Cape Town. And, when they do happen, are fixed as quickly as possible.  </p><p>Doing more to clean up </p><p>This is a budget that does more to clean up our Mother City, and to build a sense of pride in our city. Recognising the crucial importance of the city’s water resources for current and future generations, over R190 million over three years is budgeted for the rehabilitation of three of the City’s ecologically sensitive vleis — Rietvlei, Zandvlei, and Zeekoevlei. </p><p>The vlei rehabilitation project will include environmental impact assessments, remediation plans, the careful dredging of pollution from the water bodies, and new weed harvesters. <br>A further R490 million will be spent on coastline rehabilitation, to ensure we look after Cape Town’s world-famous coastal resources for our children and their children. <br>Speaker, this is a budget to do more for the thousands of Capetonians who have joined me on clean-ups in Mitchells Plain, Joe Slovo, Langa, Kuilsrivier, District Six, Elsies River, Bo Kaap, Phisantekraal, Strandfontein, and so many others. </p><p>These residents take pride in their communities, and are taking action to make their neighbourhoods beautiful and clean. <br>I’d also like to thank the 150 councillors here who joined me on a clean-up of the CBD before this meeting today. As the people elected to govern this city, I am so proud that you all are willing to join in building pride and respect in Cape Town. </p><p>Over the next 3 years, to make it easier for residents to keep their areas clean, we will spend R784 million specifically on the management of waste in informal settlements. To improve our overall waste collection service, R650 million will go to replacing our fleet of vehicles and equipment in the medium term.</p><p>Doing more for infrastructure and growth</p><p>Speaker, I have said repeatedly that I am determined to do more for infrastructure investment and economic growth. Investments in getting the basics right is how we will make Cape Town an even more attractive place to do business, which means more jobs and better livelihoods for our residents. Our R7.8 billion capital budget will meaningfully enable economic growth with new infrastructure to support economic activity. We are also doing more to upgrade existing infrastructure. </p><p>R50 million more is budgeted for maintenance in this financial year alone, which will see buildings being painted, community halls being repaired, playground equipment kept in working order, gardens and parks being tended, and carpets in libraries being cleaned. Our financial commitment to capital projects is extensive. But, Madam Speaker, it is crucial that we actually spend this money.</p><p>When I tabled the adjustment budget earlier this year, I drew attention to the fact that there was substantial capital under-expenditure in respect of last year’s budget. Today, I am reiterating that this is unacceptable. </p><p>If we want to ensure that we do not fall behind on infrastructure, we must spend all the money set aside for capital expenditure. <br>From now on, the City’s senior management team will be held accountable for the capital allocations set out in the main budget, and not for written-down allocations in the adjustment budget. </p><p>Doing more to end load-shedding</p><p>Madam Speaker, we are also doing more to end load-shedding and bring down the cost of electricity in Cape Town over time. <br>Earlier this year we called on Nersa to reject Eskom’s application for a 20,5% increase in the price of electricity. 36 000 Capetonians supported our call in just 48 hours, and we were the Metro that led the charge at the Nersa hearings in opposing these unjust, unaffordable increases.</p><p>While they didn’t approve the full 20,5%, they did still approve an unacceptably high 9,61% increase. We know this is unfair and unaffordable, and it upsets all of us in this government that South Africans in general and Cape Town residents in particular have to pay so much for a service that isn’t even being reliably delivered.<br>Many of our residents believe - I’ve already seen the TikTok video going around about this – they believe that the City can simply absorb the costs of Eskom’s increases. This is not true. Electricity bulk purchases accounts for one quarter of our entire budget. Absorbing the costs of these increases would bankrupt the City in a year or two, and make us unable to provide every other essential service our residents need to live in Cape Town.</p><p>Madam Speaker, because of Eskom’s 9,61% increase, we are bound to a 9,5% increase in electricity tariffs this year — our only tariff increase that is substantially above inflation. An increase over 9% is painful, Speaker, and one that every metro in the country that has tabled its budget so far has had to make. <br>Eskom’s unacceptably high increases in electricity prices are one of the two main reasons why we are so aggressively pursuing our independent power procurement programme. </p><p>This will allow us to purchase electricity at a far lower rate than that offered by Eskom, and pass this saving on to our customers.<br>We are making substantial investments to do more for energy security in Cape Town. We are busy creating the country’s most reliable and most affordable electricity supply. <br>R3,8 billion is set aside for capital expenditure in energy over the medium term. We are also spending R48 million in our initial push to end load shedding. And R45 million over the next three years to enable and incentivise residents to self-generate and sell their excess energy to the City. </p><p>Embedded commercial generators will no longer be compelled to be net consumers of City-supplied power; in fact they will be incentivised to be net producers. <br>R1,2 billion will be spent on the refurbishment and upgrade of the Steenbras Pumped Storage Scheme, currently our primary means of mitigating loadshedding. This project will increase the efficiency and power output of the plant, and extend its operating life. A further R10 million this year is allocated to ensure our first bid round of IPP procurement is finalised as soon as possible. </p><p>Doing more for transport</p><p>This budget, ladies and gentlemen, does more for transport. People can’t escape poverty if they can’t get to work and school. People can’t live healthy lives if they can’t attend clinics and hospitals. People can’t thrive if they are not free to move around on accessible and affordable public transport. <br>R6.4 billion over the next three years is allocated for capital expenditure by the Urban Mobility directorate. </p><p>This includes R696 million this year alone for the South-East-Corridor expansion of the MyCiti bus system, which will link Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Philippi with Claremont and Wynberg, doing more than ever before to undo the isolation of apartheid spatial planning. </p><p>Doing more for housing </p><p>This budget also does more to address the shortage of housing we face in Cape Town. R2,8 billion is set aside for capital expenditure on housing over the following three years, including for informal settlements upgrades, Breaking New Ground projects, support for backyard dwellers, and social housing. </p><p>But it is clear that the demand for affordable and low-income housing far exceeds what all spheres of government can supply under the current fiscal reality. <br>That is why our commitment is to do more to release state-owned land for the development of well-located affordable housing, close to public transport and economic opportunities. This includes releasing land for social housing projects in the inner-city and in well-located nodes elsewhere.</p><p>We also aim to unleash the potential of micro-developers and small-scale landlords through planning reform and support. This sector is already supplying far more new accommodation than the public and formal private sectors combined, and we want to see it grow and thrive.</p><p>Doing more for jobs and entrepreneurship</p><p>Madam speaker, we must always ask how we can do more to support job creation and entrepreneurship. We are committed to making Cape Town the easiest place to do business in Africa. Much of this comes down to better basic services and world-class infrastructure. Besides these key interventions to indirectly support economic growth, this budget also directly supports job creation and entrepreneurship.</p><p>R424 million is set aside for investment promotion, and R181 million for direct economic incentives to attract jobs and investors to Cape Town.</p><p>R53 million is budgeted for upgrades to informal trading infrastructure and to improve the efficiency of our permitting systems. </p><p>R55 million is allocated to our Jobs Connect and Cape Employment Accelerator programmes focusing on work placement and skills, especially for young people.</p><p>Cape Town has the potential to become one of the world’s most prosperous cities and these budget allocations will set us on a path to achieving this. </p><p>Doing more to support the least well off</p><p>But, Speaker, prosperity is a hollow goal if it leaves behind the least well off. </p><p>This is a caring budget that does more to support those without the opportunities to help themselves. Our social package amounts to R3.75 billion, which includes R1.4 billion in rates rebates and R2,3 billion for indigent relief. </p><p>This will ensure that Cape Town continues to have the broadest free basic services reach of all the metros, with 40% of households receiving free basic water and sanitation, and 27% benefitting from free electricity on the lifeline tariff. This is compared to around 15% of households in Gauteng on these indicators. </p><p>Doing more to solve homelessness</p><p>Madam Speaker, I believe that Cape Town must be, first and foremost, a caring city that does more to help the vulnerable. </p><p>Like other cities around the world, we are faced with complex social problems, such as the worsening crisis of homelessness in our city. Homelessness is caused by a complex interaction between poverty, a lack of housing availability, drug use and mental illness. </p><p>This has worsened over the past two years, both as a result of the severe economic harm of lockdowns, and the resultant explosion in stress, anxiety, mental disorder, domestic violence, substance abuse and poverty. </p><p>Living on the streets without toilet facilities and proper shelter is not dignified for the homeless, nor the people living formally in the surrounding areas. This budget does more for homeless people and the communities around them.</p><p>The City’s Care Programme to help people off the streets has been increased to R77 million in this budget. A further R10 million will go directly to increasing beds at shelters this winter.</p><p>And R142 million is set aside to operate and expand City-run Safe Spaces in the next 3 years. Our Safe Spaces programme provides secure alternative accommodation for the homeless and opportunities to find employment, move into formal accommodation, and, where necessary, enter into drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes.</p><p>Conclusion</p><p>Once again, Speaker, I want to thank our ratepayers for their support of our vision to make Cape Town a flourishing and prosperous city. </p><p>The significant commitments made in this draft budget are being met by modest increases on what we charge residents in taxes and service tariffs. But we know this is still a substantial burden commitment for our residents. </p><p>We will, Madam Speaker, use this money to improve every one of our resident’s lives.  </p><p>Speaker, I want to acknowledge Mr Johan Steyl, who has worked tirelessly for 39 years to ensure the financial health of the City. Sadly, this is Mr Steyl’s last budget for the City. I thank him for his decades of excellent service, and for setting an example as the kind of civil servant that sets Cape Town apart. <br>All the very best to you, Mr Steyl.</p><p>I would also like to acknowledge Traffic Chief Heathcliff Thomas, who retired this week after leading our traffic services for 39 years. Chief Thomas, you have made an immense contribution to public safety in Cape Town. We salute you. </p><p>Speaker, I am committed to showing South Africans that the society envisioned by our nation’s Constitution is still possible. A society in which people are free and can flourish; where poverty and division have been replaced by prosperity and tolerance. </p><p>Cape Town can be this place, and this budget is one substantial step towards this.</p><p>Through this budget and our IDP, we are boldly and unashamedly going to do more. We are going to do big, brave and excellent things in Cape Town. <br>Ours is a vision of a Cape Town where people are prosperous, free, safe, and living in dignified conditions.</p><p>In line with this vision, our promise is one of hope for Capetonians. And when I say “Capetonians” I mean every person who lives, works, and learns in our City. We promise hope that their lives — our lives — can and will get better. Hope that they will live in a place where they can be whoever they want to be, and do whatever good things they want to do. <br>Our draft budget and IDP are the means by which we will turn this promise of hope into meaningful action. I hereby table them in Council, and open them for public participation. </p><p>Thank you. <br></p>2022-03-30T22:00:00ZGP0|#904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7;L0|#0904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7|Statements;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#191b1b12-4267-46d3-a6e7-02be3df25e7a;L0|#0191b1b12-4267-46d3-a6e7-02be3df25e7a|budget;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#796a2f21-c55a-40da-9aab-0d965b382e9a;L0|#0796a2f21-c55a-40da-9aab-0d965b382e9a|draft budget10

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