Excellent, Reliable Service Delivery Remains Top Priority in New Financial Year The consistent delivery of exceptional municipal services will keep on topping Drakenstein Municipality’s business agenda in the new financial year. In fact, the Municipality’s approved annual budget for 2022/23 strikes a fine balance between guaranteeing quality basic services for all its ratepayers including its poorer communities; and, growing a business and development destination in Drakenstein which will accelerate the economy and create employment opportunities. Alderman Conrad Poole, Executive Mayor of Drakenstein Municipality, tabled the budget at the Council meeting on 30 May 2022. The total budget amounts to R3 billion, comprising of a R2.87 billion operating and a R130.6 million capital budget. Electricity and alternative energy Starting with electricity, the Municipality – while dealing with the massive challenges that cable theft and vandalism keep on posing – will spend R29.9 million on the improvement of electricity infrastructure this year. This includes increasing network capacity, replacing old equipment, and electrifying informal

number of avenues to purchase alternative energy from suppliers. Working together with the Western Cape Government, the Municipality is investigating an affordable combination of renewable energy resources – such as solar power and wind power – and alternative options, such as using gas instead of electricity. Tenders will be issued to solicit proposals from Independent Power Producers to generate and supply alternative energy to the Municipality. “We have identified five potential alternative energy projects (through wind and solar generation) with a combined supply of 135MW which can become part of the Municipality’s alternative energy supply and decrease the disruptive impact of the continued Eskom loadshedding. The Municipality also applied for grant funding to install solar panels on some municipal buildings as an alternative energy supply,” explained Alderman Poole. Roads and stormwater In support of integrated urban planning, economic growth and sustainable development, the Municipality recognises the importance of a well-developed and maintained integrated road network. “We have provided R16.5 million for the resealing of roads; upgrading of our stormwater system; tarring of sidewalks; and the upgrading of traffic signals and provision of UPS (uninterrupted power supply) systems,” he said. The Municipality will also spend R182.6 million (6.34%) of its operational budget on road transport. Water and sanitation The R31.6 million allocated for water and sanitation will be spent on projects such as the Pentz Street Pump Station’s further refurbishment; upgrade of the Drommedaris Street bulk water pipe system; upgrade and replacement of basic services; and the replacement of water networks, mechanical inlet screens and sewage networks. The Municipality has furthermore earmarked R376 million (13.07%) of its operational budget for water management and wastewater management.

settlements. The Municipality will also spend R1.29 billion (44.87%) of its operational budget on energy sources, which includes its bulk electricity purchases.

At the same time, as the economy is being dealt blow after blow by Eskom’s loadshedding, Drakenstein Municipality is exploring a


VARS | July

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