Musina Mayor, Cllr Mihloti Muhlope delivered a virtual 2020/2021 budget speech.

The Mayor of Musina, Cllr Mihloti Muhlope gave a brief service delivery report when she delivered a virtual 2020/2021 budget speech. Due to the lockdown regulations, the speech was broadcast on local community radio stations. Muhlope said the municipality, working with Coghsta managed to build a total of 1 000 houses in the financial year that ended at the end of June. She said a further 450 houses will be built in this new financial year which started on 01 July.

“We have managed to complete Nancefield Ext 2 and 8 paved roads, Nancefield storm water channel phase 2 project and the Masisi sports centre. We do not have serious challenges when it comes to power supply. We are working with Eskom to address the backlog in all areas, especially where we have extensions and new settlements. All areas in the urban areas of Musina have access to water on daily basis. The majority of our villages have street taps but some villagers still complain about serious water shortages. We are working with our water authority, the Vhembe District Municipality, to address these challenges.” She said.

She added that the municipality will continue providing free services to more than 3 000 indigent community members.  “Due to Covid 19 regulations that prohibits community members from gathering in groups, all the indigent subsidies that are in our system for this financial year, will still be active in the new financial year. Each beneficiary of the municipality’s indigent policy will continue to receive 6 kilolitres of water, 55 kilowatts of electricity and hundred percent free sewer and refuse removal services every month. These are people whose joint family monthly income is R3 500.00 or less.”

She said despite some of the successes, the municipality is still unable to provide some of the services due to the high number of consumer debtors which is over R40million. “We are continuously engaging with defaulting community members to understand the value of paying for the services they get from the municipality. The challenges of crime, drug abuse, influx of undocumented foreign nationals, HIV and Aids are a thorn in the flesh for our community. I’m happy that our stakeholders, government departments and the private sector are also working with us to fight these challenges. Our latest audit report from the Auditor General is qualified – with a total of 71 findings. Interestingly, we have managed to address 47 findings. A compressive audit action plan has been developed to address the outstanding 24 findings so that we can improve our performance. We are also working very hard to intensify sound financial controls in the municipality.”

Muhlope said although the municipality could not physically went out to all wards to seek inputs from stakeholders and community members about the budget due to Covid 19, they have succeeded in using various modern communication channels to consult with people. “I can now proudly say that the budget I’m presenting here today is the joint product of the municipality, our community and all our stakeholders. This budget was prepared in line with our Integrated Development Plan and in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act No 53 of 2003. It is presented in line with the assumptions and needs of our people, also taking into consideration the limited resources at our disposal.”

She highlighted some of the projects that the municipality will undertake in the new financial year. This include the construction of culvert and bridge from Tshivhongweni on the road that lead to Tshipale, Nancefield Phase 6 to 12 paved roads (2km), Nancefield central paved roads (2km), Manenzhe Sports Facility continuation, Muswodi Community Hall continuation and Nancefield Ext 9 & 10 paved road continuation.

The 2020/2021 budget estimates are as follows: The total budget is R379 312 000.00. Capital budget will be funded from MIG allocation of R33 843 000.00.  R1,5million has been set aside for activities to fight against the Covid 19 pandemic. Departmental budget by major votes: Executive & Council (R66 139 000), Municipal Manager (R29 665 000.00), Financial Services (R32 224 000.00), Community Services (R58 762 000.00), Corporate Services (R26 868 000.00), Technical Services (143 42 000.00) Planning and Development (R26 612 000.00). Operating grants are as follows: EPWP (R1 639 000.00), Equitable share R158 173 000.00, Finance Management Grant (R2 700 000.00).