CAPRICORN District Municipality (CDM) Mayor John Mpe has unveiled his R949 million budget, promising to invest in infrastructure projects, unlock service delivery bottlenecks and expedite water supply.
Delivering his State of the District Address (SODA) at Manaileng Sports Ground in
Ga-Rafiri, Zebediela, Limpopo last week Friday, Mpe pledged to spend 87% of his municipal
capital expenditure – or more than R600 million – on the provision of water to reduce service delivery backlog.
He also promised to electrify villages that are still without electricity, accelerate the delivery of sanitation projects and upgrade roads to boost economic development of the district. Capricorn is the most developed and urban region in Limpopo. It is home to the provincial capital Polokwane.
However, the district has been plagued by service delivery challenges such as lack of water and roads especially in the Lepelle-Nkumpi and Blouberg Municipalities. Some of its residents are still battling poverty and unemployment.
“We therefore remain responsive to the need to invest in the public infrastructure for a better life for all. This explains why much of our budget projected for the MTREF period will mainly be used for key infrastructure projects and dealing at length with some of the bottlenecks impacting on
accelerated service delivery,” Mpe said.
“Challenges such as ageing infrastructure, water scarcity, 80% of our district population that depends on ground water source, and the growing patterns of our villages continue to cause
the imbalance between water demand and water supply.”
In his speech, delivered moments after the CDM council adopted the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and budget for 2018/2019 financial year, Mpe vowed to complete multi-million water and road projects in the area.
“We are going to spend R299 million to complete water projects in 15 villages to benefit 39 307 people,” Mpe said.
“This special occasion gives us an opportunity to appropriately respond to central questions in the minds of our people as to what we are doing as municipalities in Capricorn district to lift from
their shoulders, the intolerable burden of unemployment, poverty and inequalities,” he continued.
Among others, he promised to implement the following projects:
– R299 million for water projects in Lepelle-Nkumpi to benefit 39 307 residents in 15 villages;
– R168 million water projects in Blouberg to benefit 4 954 households;
– R48 million water projects in Molemole to uplift 2 387 households;
– Millions of rands water projects in Polokwane;
– R21 million sanitation projects.
On maintenance of existing infrastructure, Mpe vowed to replace old water pipes, recruit meter readers and ensure quality workmanship by contractors doing business with CDM. He said his municipality had begun replacing old pipes in Lebowakgomo to the tune of R5 million.
More than R100 million has been set aside to address water bursts and leaks, Mpe added.
The refurbishment of the Lebowakgomo Water Treatment Plant has been completed at a cost
of R16 million, he said, while R21 million would be spent on sanitation projects alone.
He said almost 10 000 households will be electrified in the next financial year as part of efforts to connect 11% of CDM households that are still unconnected to the grid.
Mpe, who is also ANC chairperson in the Peter Mokaba region, said that Eskom had planned to roll out 56 electrification projects in the district.
Eight of the projects will be rolled out in Blouberg for the benefit of 436 households, 34 in Polokwane for the benefit of 6 111 households and 10 in Lepelle-Nkumpi electrifying 744 homes.
At least 337 households will benefit from projects in the Molemole Municipality.
“These programmes that I have outlined will be funded by a total budget of R949 million, which comprises of R251 m for capital budget and R752 m for operating budget, which represents a 76/24 ratio,” Mpe said.
He stressed that state-owned company Roads Agency Limpopo had made a commitment to upgrade roads in the district. Mpe vowed to spend millions on the upgrade or construction
of fire stations in Molemole, Blouberg and Aganang cluster.
On the economic front, the mayor said he would spend R14 million on local economic development programmes.
“We believe this budget will address the service delivery mandate for the new financial in line with the 6 Key Performance Areas (KPA’s) of Local Government Strategic Agenda so we can take our district on a trajectory of prosperity and realise the promise of a New Dawn – which is an era
of hope, evoked by President Ramaphosa, inspired by the spirit of Thuma Mina during his
State of the Nation Address.”