Oudtshoorn, 3 June 2020 – The Oudtshoorn Municipal Council approved the town budget, integrated development plan and spatial development plan in a virtual meeting on Friday, 29 May 2020.
“This is one of the most difficult budget we had to approve in the recent times,” said the Executive Mayor, Cllr. Colan Sylvester as he tabled the 2020/2021 budget that will be implementable on 1 July 2020.
“We have prepared this Medium Term Revenue and Expenditure Framework (MTREF) for 2020/2021 under difficult times and circumstances. The economic outlook looks bleak, people lost their jobs; the country and municipal area is crippled by the effects of the Disaster Management Act Regulations on Covid-19,” said Mayor Sylvester.
“The latter will have a direct impact on the payment of municipal accounts by consumers. Some of the municipal revenue streams are totally eroded especially the ones linked to tourism.”
The Municipality also received a number of objections against the proposed tariff increases of its 2020/21 Budget. “We want to express our appreciation to the communities for using the online or virtual platforms created for public comments as one-on-one public participation was not allowed during the implementation COVID19 lockdown regulations period. We have certainly considered the views of the public during the finalisation and adoption of the 2020/21 budget,” Sylvester added.
“The municipality could however not consider a zero increase in tariffs or provide payment holidays to consumers as it would have dire consequences on the future financial sustainability and viability of the municipality. Payment holidays are further not allowed by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA). The municipality rather opted to absorb some of the direct impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic through its own cash reserves to balance the budget so that the consumers can have a lower tariff increase with 2020/21 budget.”
“By doing this the municipality has postponed the tariffs that would have been raised as per its long term financial plan by delaying it and it will rather be phased in. The average increase was limited to a 5,5% increase and it is only the electricity tariff of which the municipality has no control over, that will be increased with 6,2 %.” Sylvester concluded.
Full detail of the 2020/21 MTREF and tariffs can be found in the attached links:
Spatial Development Framework: