Cape Town tables R216 million broadband plan

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille tabled a R34 billion draft budget for the city on Wednesday, with a big chunk allocated for its broadband network.

“In total, the proposed opex [operating expenditure] budget is approximately R28 billion, and the proposed capex [capital expenditure] budget is just over R6 billion,” she told a special council meeting.

The proposed budget is for the city’s 2014/15 financial year, which runs from July 1 to June 30, 2015.

“In 2014/15 our budget provides a record amount of R216 million, funded from both internal and external sources, for the further roll-out of the City’s broadband network,” de Lille said.

“The City continues to give action to its Infrastructure-led Growth Strategy by investing in the Broadband Telecommunication infrastructure programme,” the mayor said.

The budgeted allocation is more than four times (R52.746 million) the amount that the Western Cape government allocated for its Broadband Initiative in 2013.

In April, the City of Cape Town said it had made big strides in its R1.3 billion broadband infrastructure programme, connecting 43 government Buildings and 141 city buildings, which is set to increase to 171 before the end of the year.

It said that the metropolitan municipality has set aside R222 million over three years towards the roll-out of broadband infrastructure throughout the metro, which is part of the city’s R1.3 billion programme, needed to complete this task over the next seven years.

In terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act, a local government must submit a concept or draft budget to the public for its consideration and comment before a final budget can be presented to the council.

“It is during this phase of the budget process that all those claiming that we do not spend the majority of our budget on the poorer areas of Cape Town should make their public submissions based on proof,” De Lille told councilors.

Among the budget’s provisions are proposed increases in rates, electricity, water and sanitation, and solid waste removal.

“In terms of our proposed rates and service charge increases, we have kept our increases as low as possible and as close to the Consumer Price Index of 5.9% as we can,” she said.

The proposed increases include: rates, 6%; electricity, 7.6%; water and sanitation, 8%; and solid waste, 5.9%.

In terms of the proposed capex budget, the R6 billion total had been split between new and existing assets.

“R3.5 billion in the case of the new assets and projects, and R2.5 billion in the case of existing assets and projects… a split that is consistent with the prescriptions of the National Treasury.”

De Lille provided a breakdown of proposed spending by directorate. This includes:

Category Capex Opex
City health R22 million R907 million
City manager R7 million R132 million
Community services R242 million R1.5 billion
Compliance and auxiliary services R13 million R592 million
Corporate services R360 million R1.6 billion
Economic, environment and spatial planning R120 million R545 million
Finance R105 million R2 billion
Human settlements R700 million R1.8 billion
Safety and security R70 million R1.6 billion
Social development and early childhood development R18 million R137 million
Tourism, events and marketing R37 million R482 million
Transport for Cape Town R1.7 billion R2.2 billion
Utility services R2.8 billion R3.5 billion

De Lille said the draft budget was “fully balanced and fully funded”.

The City of Johannesburg’s combined operational and capital budget meanwhile, has grown to a record R47.1 billion, after exceeding R40 billion last year, finance MMC Geoffrey Makhubo said on Tuesday.

Reporting with Sapa

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Cape Town tables R216 million broadband plan