Draft Budget Speech 2010/2011: City of Cape Town | Western Cape Government

Speeches

Draft Budget Speech 2010/2011: City of Cape Town

30 March 2010

Councillors,
City Manager,
Officials,
Members of the media and the public.

Welcome to our Council meeting for the draft annual budget for the 2010/2011 financial year.

Speaker, before the draft budget is tabled I would like to make a few general comments. Too many people die on our roads daily, but I feel it is important to pause and express our condolences to the family of Kevin Brookes, who was tragically killed by an under-aged and unlicensed mini-bus taxi driver while fleeing the City's traffic officers on Monday morning. While we routinely do enforcement against taxis the City started Operation Restore after taxi hooliganism some months ago during which City traffic officers and members of the public were attacked by taxis.

This morning we made good on our promise to repeat this operation every time the taxis hurt a resident of Cape Town or staff. By 7:30am we had impounded 14 vehicles and the operation will continue throughout the day.

I want to commend all of the City's law enforcement officers for the excellent work done, you have mine and this Council's full support. We have a responsibility to make sure our roads are safe for all.

On behalf of all the residents of Cape Town, I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the late Alderman Eulalie Stott.

We will always remember Alderman Stott as a person who worked tirelessly to ensure that the voices of Cape Town's less privileged residents were heard by the City of Cape Town. She was known for leaving no stone unturned in her attempts to improve housing delivery.

Alderman Stott epitomised the devotion and empathy that those in government should strive for. She was an inspiration to every politician in this country and will be remembered with gratitude and affection by the people of Cape Town. She accomplished what we should all strive to achieve: leaving this world in a better state than she found it in.

I would like to ask this Council to acknowledge the loss of life in fires and motor vehicle accidents in Cape Town in the past month.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have died, and City officials have been working hard to control fires, maintain order on our roads and provide disaster relief.

 

I would like once again to thank all our safety and security staff members for their efforts and I encourage all visitors to travel safely during this coming long weekend.

Speaker, I am particularly aware of the need to ensure that opportunities are created for informal trading at all the locations that might have a 2010 FIFA World Cup focus, such as the Fan Fest, the Fan Walk, the Public Viewing Areas, the Venue Specific Training Sites, and at the Park and Ride parking areas of bus and train stations.

Wherever I have my Road Shows, the communities from all walks of life want to know what opportunities they will have for informal trading for 2010. You will see a report on the Council agenda in this regard. I have asked our officials to explore those opportunities.

Speaker, you will recall that this Council expressed concern about the general deterioration of the Mitchells Plain Town Centre. I am pleased to inform you that this has been addressed, and all the informal traders will now benefit significantly from the planned redesign and upgrade of the Mitchells Plain Town Centre which will turn it into a safe and financially viable business centre.

The upgrade of the Mitchells Plain Town Centre included the creation of public market squares and the renovation of walkways. Last month, traders moved to the newly created markets and squares so that upgrading the walkway could begin. Their previous trading area was hampered by acute congestion and its walkways and lanes were always obstructed. Furthermore, City by-laws were regularly contravened.

I have personally experienced the congestion along the walkways and agreed that the Town Centre should be upgraded. I therefore requested the City Administration to implement the Council's decision, taken on 3 December last year, to create dedicated and designated trading areas in the Town Centre. As a result, traders now have the security of tenure which they lacked in the past.

At my public meeting in Mitchells Plain, the local communities were very excited about being able to walk down the Town Centre malls and walkways, something that has not previously been possible for many years.

Speaker, I am also glad to announce that the Greenmarket Square upgrade is now complete, and the upgrade of the toilet block and stage is in its final stage.

The informal traders, formal traders, retailers, residents and property owners, as well as the Cape Town CID and Cape Town Partnership all worked well together to enable the Greenmarket Square vision to be realised.

Speaker, the problems and controversy related to the 55 unenclosed toilets in Makhaza, Khayelitsha have not been fully resolved since the last Council meeting. On Friday 19 March City officials started enclosing toilets that were still open. This was done after discussions between myself and the City Manager as well as with the local Ward Councillor.

When the community started protesting and damaging the newly erected structures, I instructed the staff to withdraw from the site. In total 26 structures were erected and all 26 were subsequently demolished and the building material removed by members of this community.

The City has subsequently laid formal criminal charges for malicious damage to Council property.

I reiterate that all of the 55 families, who have not enclosed their toilets, do have a communal toilet with an enclosed concrete structure in line with the National norm. No member of the public has to use the unenclosed toilet until such time that it is enclosed.

Speaker, after meeting Khayelitsha church leaders two weeks ago, the City offered to assist them during the Easter religious celebrations by erecting tents at various sites throughout the area, at the City's cost. Church leaders accepted the City's offer last week Monday and helped City officials identify suitable sites for the tents.

The meeting was held to find short and long term solutions for the community, after the City demolished 24 illegally built church structures. The erection of tents for Easter is only a short term solution to meet the important community needs during this time. In the longer term, the City is in the process of identifying available land where church structures can, in compliance with legal requirements, be built.

The City has erected tents in all 11 affected areas pointed out by the church leadership on Friday 26 March 2010 and this joint initiative was completed last weekend.

Speaker, I would especially like to thank Richard Bosman, Executive Director for Safety & Security, Hans Smit, Executive Director for Housing, and their staff who managed this endeavour with great efficiency.

Speaker, with just less than 12 weeks left to the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the focus is on the City's readiness to host this event. Maximum effort is being put into the 2010 Transport Infrastructure Projects in order to ensure that they are all complete in time for the event.

The new Granger Bay Boulevard which links the V&A Waterfront to the new elevated traffic circle on Western Boulevard is now complete and open to traffic, as is the elevated traffic circle on Western Boulevard. The pedestrian underpass is complete. Work on the parking areas along Main Road, which form part of this project, is continuing and should be completed within the next month.

It is planned to have the new Hospital Bend pre-selection project fully open to traffic by the end of April. This new interchange, and the welcome relief it will bring from the traffic congestion that we have all suffered for decades, is one of the most tangible benefits that the staging of the FIFA Soccer World Cup has brought us. Before it is opened to traffic, a communication campaign will inform drivers about the new layout and how the pre-selection scheme will work. This particular project has been a shining example of how a significant roadwork's project can be undertaken with minimal inconvenience to the travelling public.

The Koeberg Interchange project, although not under the direct control of the City, is another highly visible project and one where good progress is being made. The ramp connecting the N1 Westbound with the M5 Southbound will be open to traffic, as scheduled, towards the end of May in time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Also to be completed by the end of May, are all of the roadworks along the N1 between Koeberg Interchange and Sable Road. The N1 outbound carriageway (in the direction of the Northern suburbs) passing through the Koeberg Interchange will revert to its original alignment. The M5 Northbound to N1 Eastbound ramp will be completed after the World Cup.

The upgrading and widening of Table Bay Boulevard between Koeberg Interchange and Marine Drive is nearing completion and will be ready in time for the World Cup.

As far as the Non-Motorised Transport routes linking the City Centre and the new Cape Town Stadium are concerned, a number of projects are progressing well. While it must be acknowledged that the 2010 deadline is imminent, I am assured that it will be met. Those of you who have travelled along Buitengragt recently, will have noticed that its pedestrian bridges are starting to take shape.

Also in place is a contract to improve pedestrian facilities in the City Centre in general. This will also enable the City to attend to the repairs and maintenance that might be required during the tournament.

Finally, as far as 2010 readiness in respect of our roadways is concerned, I would note that all new permanent and temporary directional and information signage required for the event is in hand. Contracts for the installation of CCTV monitoring cameras and variable message signs are 90% complete, and they will all be operational during the 2010 event.

Speaker, as the World Cup approaches, it is gratifying to note that work on several bus stations and lanes of the City's new Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system is nearing completion.

The stations at the stadium, airport and Civic Centre will be finished and operational for the World Cup. The stations on the West Coast route are also far advanced. IRT construction will concentrate on this route after the World Cup ends, and the IRT team is working hard to open this route with a starter service between the central city and Blaauwberg road by the end of the year.

The bus service in this region will later be extended all the way to Atlantis, Dunoon and Mamre, as part of Phase 1A of the new transport system.

Work on the new stations and bus lanes have been progressing well. People who haven't visited these areas recently will be astonished at the changes. It's really exciting and we are witnessing the first stages of a system that is going to transform life for the people of Cape Town.

Speaker, the delivery of buses required for the 2010 World Cup Service is on track and the proto-type vehicles which will allow for practical driver training and testing of our station docking facilities will be delivered to the City in early April.

I am extraordinarily pleased to note that the City has contracted an operator to run the IRT component of the 2010 World Cup Transport Service which is comprised of parties from the existing public transport industry that are considered to be "directly affected" by Phase 1A of the IRT project. The Phase 1A area is the geographic region of the West Coast and inner city to Hout Bay.

This is an important landmark in the City's continued engagement with the existing public transport industry and demonstrates government's commitment to provide opportunities for the existing public transport industry in our new integrated public transport system. The operator has provided transport services for the second and third test events at the stadium and we wish them success for the remaining test events and the World Cup itself.

I urge all councillors to give this project their full support as it will benefit everyone living in our beautiful city.

Speaker, I would like to congratulate the City's Health Portfolio Committee for receiving an award from the United Nations for the City's efforts for the fight against Tuberculosis (TB).

The City's Administrative Support for TB Programme, 'City Health Cape Town', was nominated by the Impumelelo Trust, an organization that promotes good governance, for a United Nations Public Service Award in 2009. The nominated project is a partnership between City Health, the Provincial Department of Health and the TB/HIV Care Association. In 2008, the partners in this project were the joint recipients of an Impumelelo Platinum Award.

It reflects a creative response by health officials to two different problems that threaten poor communities in Cape Town. The one problem is that the incidence of TB has increased significantly in the past decade while cure rates remained static. Among the contributory factors are that some diagnosed patients failed to complete the lengthy treatment regimen and that the response of patients to treatment has not always been adequately documented. We know that there is still much room for improvement, but this award recognises our commitment to the fight and motivates us to further reduce infection rates.

Speaker, the Premier's Cup was planned as a two-leg event with the first leg involving all nine provinces of SAFA at U/20 level known as the Premier's Cup followed by an international leg involving a South African U/20 side with three other international U/20 teams. Because of time constraints the international leg known as the Cape Town International Challenge is taking place on April 8 at Newlands Stadium and 10 April at Cape Town Stadium, and the national leg will take place after the World Cup.

The City has been fortunate to secure the participation of Ghana, the U/20 World Cup Champions, as well as Brazil and Nigeria to compete with South Africa in this prestigious international tournament. Cape Town can look forward to a football spectacular when the young Flying Eagles (Nigeria), Amajita (South Africa), Ghana, the World Cup U/20 champions and Brazil take the field at Newlands Rugby Stadium and the Cape Town Stadium. These matches at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday 10 April will be an important test for the Cape Town Stadium's readiness for the World Cup in June. It will be the first time that we will test the stadium at night at full capacity for a football event with all the other services in and around the stadium in operation as a dry run for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The admission fee has been pegged at a very affordable rate to enable all people to experience this iconic venue. Tickets cost R20 and R30 and are available at Computicket and Shoprite Checkers. We encourage sport and especially football clubs to avail themselves of the group booking opportunities. And, because this offer has generated unprecedented interest soccer fans should not delay in purchasing their tickets so as to avoid disappointment.

World Cup fever is growing. Since the last Council meeting, Cape Town celebrated the 100 day countdown in our own unique style. We gathered at the Noonday Gun, waved the South African flag and sang the national anthem. We also minted a special commemorative series of coins for the World Cup which features an image of our stadium, now acknowledged to be among the most beautiful in the world.

We hosted a media roadshow of over 100 journalists from across the world, Africa and South Africa. They were shown all the South African stadiums for the World Cup. They were brought here by FIFA and the Organising Committee.

During the media briefing at the Cape Town Stadium, Mr. Jerome Valcke, secretary- general of FIFA, was asked which of the stadiums was the best. He naturally side-stepped that question, but did say that Cape Town Stadium would provide "a perfect setting" for World Cup matches. No-one could ask for a better endorsement. Further confirmation came from the Organising Committee's Dr Danny Jordaan, who said that he had visited 205 countries in his career as a soccer administrator and has yet to see a stadium with such a unique and beautiful location. Cape Town has reason to be proud.

After successfully hosting the Final Draw in December 2009 before a global television audience of millions, our preparation for the event continues. We have had three successful test events at the stadium - for soccer, rugby and most recently a prayer meeting. With every event we increased the spectator numbers and opened up another tier of the stadium. We also tested the plans for safety and security, transport and the stadium operation. Having measured noise levels both inside and outside the stadium during events, it is clear that the design of the stadium is a success. There is a significant reduction in the sound levels measured outside the stadium.

Speaker, event organisers have been appointed for the Fan Fest at the Grand Parade, the Fan Walk and the four public viewing areas across our metro area.

An area around the Cape Town Stadium has been designated as both a Controlled Access Site (CAS) and a Commercial Restricted Zone (CRZ) before, during and after the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This area will not be fenced, but access will be monitored and controlled.

There is a similar restricted area around the FIFA Fan Fest at the Grand Parade. The maps and information have been advertised in the media. The restrictions will take effect from 20 May 2010 and will apply until 16 July 2010. This is regulated in terms of the 2010 City By-Law. The event itself runs from 11 June to 11 July 2010.

With the large numbers of spectators and visitors expected during the tournament event, it is will be necessary to control movement and access. Without such controls, those who paid to be there and those who need to be there to provide an essential service will be hampered. Within this zone, only official sponsors will be allowed to advertise and offer their products. Those outside, but in close proximity to these areas will be able to conduct their business as usual, provided they do not - all of a sudden - display advertisements for competing sponsors which are visible to those attending the games. This is ambush marketing and the City and FIFA will act against those responsible as this jeopardises the financial support from sponsors who make this costly event possible.

Within this borderline of the commercial and access zones at the stadium there are also security zones.

There will be an outer security perimeter a short distance from the stadium and an inner security perimeter area right against the stadium. These perimeter areas will be determined and controlled by the South African Police Services. They will ensure that only those who have paid to be there invited to be there or have to work there can gain access.

Councillors, our city make the bold claim to be the best tourist destination in Africa. We have several tourism and other awards to substantiate this. We believe our unique people, places and surroundings will give visitors a truly memorable experience during the World Cup.

By offering excellent service and goods at fair prices and by being wonderful, friendly hosts, we will ensure that the benefits for our city continue to be experienced long after the World Cup.

With 71 days to go to kick-off, we therefore proudly proclaim that Cape Town is 'AFRICA'S GREATEST CITY - READY TO HOST THE WORLD!'

Speaker, today I table for consideration by this Council and comment from the public, the draft budget for the next three years. The proposed Operating budget for the 2010/2011 financial year amounts to R19.3 billion, representing an increase of 14% over the 2009/10 financial year.

For 2010/2011, Capital expenditure is reduced to R3.55 billion from the current R5.59 billion, as 2010 funding comes to an end and future borrowings are limited to ensure financial sustainability.

In fact, in the first five-year Council period, capital expenditure by the City of Cape Town was approximately R7 billion. We expect, in the second five-year period to have delivered infrastructure costing about R19 billion. Even if one discounts the R4.3 billion spent on the Cape Town Stadium, capital expenditure will have more than doubled when compared to the previous five-year period.

Equally, the annual expenditure on repairs and maintenance has doubled over this 5-year term - from R0.8 billion per year to R1.6 billion per year.

Speaker, the City received its sixth unqualified audit from the Auditor-General, and this past year, we achieved a new milestone, in that the AG further declared it a clean audit, the only municipality in the Province to achieve that standard.

 

Independent ratings agency, Moody's International, has again confirmed Cape Town's Aa2.za rating with stable outlook in its annual rating review, despite the current economic recession. The report further confirms that the City of Cape Town is in a comfortable liquidity position and is experiencing buoyant budgetary performance. We understand that our rating is effectively capped due to the financial circumstances in the country as a whole, and that this is beyond our direct control. This rating has contributed to our three successful bond issues over the past three years, all of which were oversubscribed. Our most recent bond issue of R2 billion also attracted foreign interest for the first time. The total of R4,2 billion raised through these bonds has financed a significant portion of our capital programme.

Speaker, the City has completed a new General Valuation of properties. We are the first municipality in the country to have completed a second valuation under the Municipal Property Rates Act. The total value of all properties valued through the General Valuation process in 2009 has increased by 27% to R805 billion.

Speaker, to achieve recognition as a world-class city we must continue to focus on getting the basics right - to ensure that the economy can flourish and there can be jobs for our citizens. In order to achieve sustainable service delivery, we have to ensure sustainable income streams for our service departments.

I acknowledge that, in spite of these measures, many people in Cape Town will still feel the impact of the rates and tariff increases.
Let me, however, reiterate: if we want to avoid disaster, and if we want our city to progress and flourish, we have to invest now.

Speaker, I must also stress that this is a draft budget. The public will be able to comment on it, and all the portfolio committees will assess it in detail in the weeks to come.

The draft budget 2010/2011 is now tabled and I hand over to Alderman Neilson to discuss the budget in greater detail.

Thank you.

Issued by:
Communication Department
City of Cape Town

Media Enquiries: 

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