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Council cuts projects

“We are cutting all we can without harming our service delivery. We have to make sure we don’t take out more loans than necessary and we have to make sure we have enough money to survive this crisis. Approved programmes that have commenced, will carry on.”

These were the words of executive Mayor, Gesie van Deventer, during a special virtual council meeting Friday, 12 June when she tabled the Special Adjustments Budget for 2019/’20.

The Special Adjustments Budget was approved by the Municipal Council.

During her presentation Van Deventer emphasised this was an unusual first because up to now there was only one Adjustment Budget per year, which was approved at the January council meeting.

Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Treasury allowed for an adjustment now, while another Adjustments Budget is due to be tabled in September or October.

Van Deventer said certain projects were impacted due to the pandemic, and the municipality also had to account for a decrease in revenue due to businesses and tertiary institutions closing at this time.

The approved capital budget for 2019-’20 was cut by more than R34 million. Some of the capital budget cuts include R10 million out of a total of R17 million budgeted for a new reservoir in the area of Polkadraai Road. The entire amounts budgeted for the upgrading of Jonkershoek Picnic Site (R677 000) and more than R2,3 million for the upgrading of Cloetesville Library were cut.

After the debate on the council item, during which some opposition parties lambasted the cutting of certain parts of the Budget, including the amount for the upgrading of the Cloetesville Library and reducing the amounts available for the upgrading of houses in Smartie Town, Cloetesville (from almost R4 million to just over R2,4 million) and the upgrading of The Steps/Orlean Lounge (from R4 million to R2.5 million), Van Deventer emphasised, when the pandemic started in March, the municipality could not continue with certain projects because contractors were not allowed on site. V To page 2.

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