City of Francistown last Thursday proposed a P187 579 820 budget for the fiscal year 2015/16 with no tariff increases.
The development has been described as a reprieve for residents of the country’s second largest city who have been struggling to make ends meet thanks to the high cost of living brought about the 2008 world credit crunch.
In 2008, the whole world was caught by a surprise when the economic recession affected many countries across the globe. And trade between countries went down with nations failing to sustain themselves.
People suffered as most of them lost jobs. Purchasing power amongst the consumers was drastically reduced and business was very slow.
Announcing the City of Francistown budget proposal for the second city last Thursday, the council’s Finance and Development Committee chairperson James Kgalajwe said the city expects to receive P145 883 390 from the ministry.
The city receives a grant annually from the government through the Ministry of Local Government and rural Development. In addition, the city is expected to raise some funds from a variety of its revenue sources.
“In the next financial year, we expect to collect P41 696 430, which will come from our different sources of income especially rates, service levy, staff housing rent, trade licensing and lease rentals,” Kgalajwe told a special full council session.
According to Kgalajwe, the proposed budget for the 2015/16 financial year shows an increment of P6 845 670 when comparing with the budget for the ongoing financial year of P180 734 150.
“This represents an increase of 3.8percent due to the 3percent salary increment and introduction of housing allowance for council workers,” he said.
Councilor Kgalajwe added: “Personnel emoluments including wages and salaries, overtime and pension will increase from P90 843 760 in 2014/15 to P96 793 650 in 2015/16, an increase of 7 percent.”
Running expenses are expected to increase from P43 870 850 in 2014/15 to P46 698 630 in 2015/16 which represents an increase of 6percent, he said. Kgalajwe said the establishment expenses and special votes both decreased by 4percent.
In an effort to ensure that the funds are used prudently and optimally, Kgalajwe said the funds have been allocated to council departments in accordance to the needs and concerns of the Francistown community.
“Our focus should be on serving the people of Francistown that have entrusted us with the responsibility to manage the economy of their behalf and to enhance their welfare,” he said.
Generally, councilors are of the belief that the budget will ensure that the council has the ability to carry out its mandates without hiccups.