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Budget to suit hard times

Hou uit, hou aan en hou moed. We’ll get through these tough times as one City, together.”

These were the words of Mayor of Cape Town Dan Plato during a virtual full council meeting held on Wednesday 27 May.

He tabled a R3bn social package to support the indigent, disabled and pensioners during his Budget speech.

If one’s property’s value is below R300 000 or household income is below R4 500, one will receive no less than a 100% property and refuse rebate, 10,5 kilolitres of free water, 7,35 kilolitres of sanitation and 60 kilowatt hours of free electricity if one’s consumption is kept low, Plato related.

“We know that many have already lost their jobs or fallen on hard times, and that’s why we are raising the indigent threshold to R7 000 income per month and increasing the rates discount for many in this category,” Plato explained, adding that “the Budget has been adapted to respond comprehensively to the Covid-19 crisis.”

The City has also been able to absorb the R2bn impact the outbreak has had on the Budget without passing the burden onto residents.

In this way, more people can not only qualify for relief, but do so through a quicker and easier application process. A range of interest-free payment options are also available for struggling residents in rates arrears.

The proposed annual Budget for 2020-’21 amounts to a total of R54,4 billion, with an operating budget of R44bn and a capital budget of R9,6bn.

Said Plato: “The Budget outlines the funded commitments of the City, which will see us deliver on our Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and associated strategies, effectively to support the lives and livelihoods of all our residents.”

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