The City confirmed that it had spent more than R2 billion of its R8.6 billion capital budget, despite most services and projects temporarily stopping during the lockdown.
Deputy mayor and mayco member for finance Ian Neilson said: “A further R2.3 billion is also already committed through awarded contracts, while many of the remaining tenders are at an advanced stage towards award.”
Neilson said all planned projects, as per the budget that came into effect on July 1, continued.
“For the year ending June 2020, the City managed to spend more than 90% (expenditure R1.47 billion) of its 2019/2020 Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) allocation, despite being severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis and extended lockdown period,” he said.
The transport directorate allocated R80 million reserved in its 2020/2021 budget for its traffic relief programme. At the time, Mayco member Felicity Purchase said the City’s focus was dealing with Covid-19. Other big projects included construction of a law enforcement base, at a cost of R37.5 million, extension to the Bellville Waste Water Treatment plant at R217.4 million, and the Beacon Valley Housing Project in Mitchells Plain which would cost R86.6 million.
“The Human Settlements directorate spent 98% of its Urban Settlements Development Grant capital budget in the 2019/20 financial year, despite the negative impact of Covid-19 and lockdown regulations. Likewise, both the Transport and Water and Waste Directorates spent 94% of their 2019/2020 USDG capital allocations,” said Nelson.
According to Cope caucus chairperson Farouk Cassim, the City’s claim to have spent R2 billion of its capital budget was flawed.
“They can’t tell us solid waste and the housing directorate have been able to continue and complete their projects during Covid-19 and the nationwide lockdown. This is the question we have been asking – whether they are fast-tracking their projects. And we will never get accurate answers. We will only see the results next year,” he said.