Mayor presents Draft Budget for 2024/2025 financial year

Knysna Executive Mayor Aubrey Tsengwa has submitted the 2024/2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework Draft Budget Report for Council’s consideration during its meeting held on 27 March 2024. This draft budget reflects a steadfast commitment to addressing the challenges faced by our municipality against the backdrop of a less favourable than anticipated economic outlook for our country and region.

“Despite the prevailing economic challenges, the draft budget remains committed to serving the needs of our community,” Tsengwa emphasised. “It is imperative that we focus our resources where they are most needed, ensuring the continued well-being and development of the greater Knysna area.”

Outlined below are key focus areas and allocations within the 2024/25 Draft Budget.

Housing projects and services

A total of R32.2 million from the Provincial Human Settlement department has been earmarked for various housing projects within the area. An additional R8 million is allocated to the installation of serviced sites in Sedgefield. R7.8 million of Council funds are designated for various housing programs including retaining walls, emergency materials and relocation efforts.

Electrification

The National Department of Energy has allocated R15.7 million for the electrification of houses in Hlalani and upgrading the Knysna Main substation.

Community safety

An allocation of R3.2 million is provided for the establishment of fire stations in Rheenendal and Khayalethu.

Job creation

R1.2 million is allocated through the Expanded Public Works Programme Integrated Grant for job creation in departments such as Parks and Recreation and Environmental Management.

Maintenance of Infrastructure

From the total operating expenditure budget of R1,227 billion, R51.5 million has been allocated against Repairs and Maintenance of Municipal Infrastructure Assets and Waste Management operational costs increased from R10 million to R20.3 million to address current backlog.

 

The Capital and Operating Budgets

The total 2024/2025 Municipal expenditure budget tabled is R1,315.8 billion of which Capital expenditure is limited to a total of R88.8 million made up of R23.3 million from municipal generated funds (CRR) as well as R65.5 million from grant funding. The operating expenditure budget equates to R1.227 billion.

 

Proposed tariff increases

The recommended tariff increases for the new financial year include:

  • electricity (15%),
  • water (4.9%),
  • sanitation (4.9%)
  • and refuse (10%)
  • Property rates will see an increase of 4.9% on all categories from the reduced rate in rand applied in the previous financial year of residential and base rate, as well as businesses.

Indigent residents, senior citizens, and people living with disabilities may apply for a rates rebate. A gross monthly household income of R5, 500p/m qualifies for 100% rebate. These households also qualify to receive 6kl of water and 50kWh of electricity for free each month.

Additional financial assistance will be given to households in the following income groupings earning above the indigent household’s threshold.

Group A:         (R5,501 – R6,580)      = 80%;
Group B:         (R6,581 – R8,780       = 60%;
Group C:         (R8,781– R10,980)     = 40%;
Group D:         (R10,981– R13,180)   = 20%

Public participation

Tsengwa encourages all councillors and the residents of greater Knysna to engage with, and provide feedback on, the draft budget during the public participation processes that are being held during April.

Stakeholders are invited to submit written representations regarding the 2024/2025 Tabled Budget to the Chief Financial Officer via email at budget@knysna.gov.za, or in person at the Finance Directorate in Clyde Street, Knysna by 10 May 2024.

“We recognise the importance of community input in shaping our budgetary decisions,” Tsengwa concluded. “Your participation is vital in ensuring that the resources are allocated where they are most needed, contributing to the prosperity and well-being of all residents of Knysna.”

The 2024/2025 Tabled Budget, tariffs, and budget-related policies are available on the municipal website at https://www.knysna.gov.za/government/important-documents/budget-and-related-documents