Joburg: City in healthy financial state

2012-02-24 13:37

Johannesburg - The City of Johannesburg on Friday said it was ahead of its revenue collection targets and on track to meet goals set in the 2011/12 budget.

"Figures for the first half of the financial year reflect the robust health of Johannesburg finances and a growing confidence among ratepayers who contribute to the city's coffers," mayoral committee member for finance Geoff Makhubo said in a statement.

"We are making steady progress to strengthen our revenue collection service and restore confidence in the integrity of our billing data," he said.

A revenue roadmap, announced in November last year, was already achieving measurable results, and the city was getting positive feedback from ratepayers whose billing concerns were being resolved.

The figures for the six months - compiled at the end of January - showed the city collected R11.86bn, 56.6% of the adjusted budget of R23.4bn.

"We have exceeded our revenue targets by R466.2m, and I am confident that we will also meet the 12-month goals," Makhubo said.

Johannesburg had a cash balance of over R2bn by the end of January, "which reflects the healthy financial position of the city".

"Our new revenue and customer relations system is being put in place over a 19-month period, but we are already seeing improved results," Makhubo said.

"We are improving the quality of the customer's interaction with the city and introducing a step-change in our collection system."

He said: "Our customers are showing greater inclination to pay for services such as water, electricity and waste removal, as they gain more confidence in the data that are reflected on their bills."

The six-months figures Makhubo referred to showed an operating surplus of R785.8m against a budgeted surplus of R688.7m.

The city's total operating budget for 2011/2012 was adjusted upwards by R836.8m to R32.81bn, while the capital budget increased from R3.72bn to R3.74bn.

Its budget for the 2012/2013 financial year is expected to be tabled in May.

  • Dionne - 2012-02-24 15:14

    Have u seen the long grass and potholes all over JHB >this must be joking

  • frans.grobler3 - 2012-02-24 15:47

    What a joke!

  • flysouth - 2012-02-24 16:04

    Lies, all lies! The city is running at an unsatisfactory (and indeed dangerous) low level of collections - a level at which it cannot meet it's obligations, it is simple maths. The fact that there is some cash in hand is meaningless when they fail to carry out their obligations to the ratepayers, such as maintenance etc!

  • Ben - 2012-02-24 16:13

    Geoff Makhubo reports on a comparison between actual and budget but does not report on collections as a percentage of billings. If the budget for collectables is set as a soft target, anyone can beat it! The only thing that counts is the % actually collected out of total billings. JHB Metro is in fact facing serious liquidity problems as reported in the Star a few days ago. Using the same model and applying their criteria consistently across 102 municipalities, Ratings Afrika scored JHB the lowest of all Metros: 26 points out of 100. Cape Town scored 63.

  • ian.d.samson - 2012-02-24 21:43

    Fair enough, what about delinquent accounts? How many billions of Rand will be written off for Soweto and other unpaid accounts this year? What relief does CoJ have in mind for properties affected by the fraudulent demise of CSTM last year? When will the CoJ website be operational again? When will JoburgConnect be answered instead of kept on hold for hours on end until Telkom issues the number unobtainable signal and one has to dial again and rejoin the back of the queue? No ways, CoJ has a LOT OF WORK to do before it breaks the surface of being acceptable.

  • Wendy - 2012-02-25 18:22

    This was the same ANC official who informed a local radio station that here was no cadre deployment at the City of Johannesburg and that everyone paid for electricity! This is the ANC MMC for finance for the City! Has he read the AG's report or taken a look at the debtors book do you think?

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