Central Johannesburg. Picture: ISTOCK
Central Johannesburg. Picture: ISTOCK

The City of Johannesburg’s R59bn budget was finally approved by the council on Tuesday after having been rejected twice in the past two weeks by opposition parties claiming it was anti-poor.

Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba said the council had passed the multiparty coalition government’s operational and capital budgets and integrated development plan (IDP) for the 2018-19 financial year in full compliance with the Municipal Finance Management Act.

This was the second budget passed under the combined leadership of the DA‚ IFP‚ African Christian Democratic Party‚ UDM‚ COPE and Freedom Front Plus‚ with the support of the EFF‚ as well as the African Independent Congress, who chose to support this budget‚ he said.

A major sticking point for opposition parties in the council was the proposed tariff hikes for water and electricity.

But Mashaba said that after engagement between political parties in council over the past few weeks‚ an approach was taken to reduce the tariffs for water and electricity.

"By doing‚ council has achieved a caring and sensitive approach to household income, which is under strain from various decisions of national and provincial government‚" he said.

"Equally, the tariffs approved will enable the city to generate its revenue that will drive the fundamental change – Diphetogo — to our communities.

"The Diphetogo project‚ at its core means real transformational change‚ and prioritises investment in the service delivery backlogs that plague our communities," Mashaba said.

"We have taken the decision to deprioritise the nonessential elements‚ cut unnecessary expenditure and redirect these savings to battle our service delivery infrastructure backlog."