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Building a City that works – 2024 State of the Capital Address

In his opening remarks of the 2024 State of the Capital Address, the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Cllr Cilliers Brink, thanked all the residents of Tshwane who pay their bills, abide by the law and make their voices known without violence, destruction or harm to other people. He especially thanked the community organisations and businesses who help to clean and safeguard Tshwane’s streets, parks and rivers, and give their time and passion to improve the quality of life in the city.

According to the Executive Mayor. the 2022/23 financial year audit outcome has improved from adverse to qualified. Two of the three adverse findings by the Auditor-General have been cleared, namely cash flow and creditors. He is confident of an unqualified audit once the last finding related to property, plant and equipment is cleared.

A funding plan that accompanies the 2024/25 draft budget sets out in detail how the City aims to increase income and reduce distribution losses in the next two years.

“Our financial rescue mission is at the heart of improving service delivery. Our books must balance and we must generate a surplus from trading services. If we do not reach this point, we will not be able to generate savings and borrowings to upgrade water, electricity and sewer services,” he said.

The Mayoral Committee adopted a Financial Rescue Charter. This agreement between the executive and the top management of the City sets out a number of immediate measures to restore the City’s tax administration capacity and to ensure cost-reflective tariffs and property rates in the coming financial years.

A project management office is being established to take charge of each aspect of the City’s revenue value chain. This includes rolling out prepaid electricity meters, dispatching bills, speedily resolving disputes and implementing credit control and debt collection measures, such as issuing summons against large consumers who refuse to make payment arrangements.

Cllr Brink said that the City will cut off services if consumers refuse to pay. Through Tshwane Ya Tima, the City will target all debtors, residents, businesses and state entities.  “Furthermore, we will impose harsh penalties and fines for all cases of illegal connections, including criminal charges,” he said.

He said that the Mayoral Urban Management Plan introduced in November 2023 concentrates on maintenance along major routes, public spaces such as parks, key buildings and cemeteries. Some of the work done includes cutting grass and neatening public spaces, cemeteries, parks and road reserves. More than 12 000 potholes have been repaired, with an additional 6 000 targeted for repair by June 2024.

Repairing equipment and conducting proactive maintenance to stabilise the electricity grid and reduce restoration times were also implemented. Further plans are underway, such as resurfacing part of the road network in Atteridgeville and Mamelodi. Repairs to the Bon Accord Asphalt Plant are in progress to accelerate the in-house production of hot-mix asphalt from June 2024 and CBD street light repairs will start in May 2024 in partnership with Santam.

The Mayor also talked on the steps to achieve 1 000 MW of energy independence from Eskom by 2026:

  • In January 2024, Council approved the report giving permission to proceed with the 40-year lease of Rooiwal Power Station and Pretoria West Power Station.
  • A Request for Information on alternative energy solutions was issued in December 2023. This was aimed at soliciting information on transitioning to cleaner technology resources, as well as procuring additional energy from independent power producers. We have received 39 bids and the next step is for the bids to be evaluated.

The City has allocated R450 million towards upgrading Rooiwal Water Treatment Plant over a three-year period. R150 million of this first allocation is in the process of being transferred to the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the completion of Phase 1 upgrades is underway.

Other crucial initiatives for the enhancement and maintenance of water and sanitation infrastructure within Tshwane include the following:

  • Replace, upgrade and construct waste water treatment facilities: R92 million
  • Replace worn-out water network pipes: R66 million
  • Expand reservoirs: R65 million

Speaking on job creation, he said that through the Public Employment Programme, the City created just over 7 400 additional job opportunities. These beneficiaries were placed in various projects and departments across the City.

“Last year, we obtained Council permission to use our Expanded Public Works Programme to enhance the skills of trained artisans, people at the frontline of service delivery. A total of 71 young people were trained and fully accredited at the Tshwane Leadership and Management Academy. The training ranges from electrical work, vehicle mechanic (diesel and petrol) repairs, welding, fitting and turning, boiler making and plumbing. Those young people are now working as interns in the City,” said Cllr Brink.

 Please read the full State of the Capital Address to learn more about the plans to improve public lightning, housing in Tshwane, securing a safer city and economic growth. 

 Link to State of the Capital Address:

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