Mopani budget opens tap on water projects

WATER and sanitation received the biggest slice of the total budget of the 2009- 10 financial year of the Mopani district municipality in Limpopo.

The overall budget for the district is R661million and water and sanitation alone was allocated R303 million - nearly half of the total budget.

The total capital budget is R285,3 million, which will address issues of service delivery and creation of work for the masses of unemployed youths and adults in the district.

The budget for operations was allocated R152,3 million and general expenditure was allocated R140,6 million, while salaries for municipal employees was budgeted at R83,9 million.

The budget was hailed by many as being pro-poor since it hoped to address the aspirations of the poor and the previously disadvantaged.

Announcing the budget after 19 days as the new executive mayor of the Mopani district municipality, Joshua Matlou said the district had witnessed with shock the rate of cholera that hit local villagers hard.

He said the cholera epidemic was a sign that clean water and sanitation were acutely needed.

Matlou said the district would upgrade and build new water schemes and sewerage plants in this financial year in areas hit by drought.

He said the district was 79percent on track as far as water and sanitation were concerned and that it was on the right course to meet the national deadline for 2012.

Road construction and maintenance were allocated R50million for 2009-10, while for 2011 the budget stands at R114,6million and for 2011-12 was R198million.

Matlou said roads in the district were badly eroded, affecting service delivery, especially in far-flung rural villages.

The Leretjeng Sports Centre would also be revamped and the Thapane Dam would get a facelift.

The budget was accepted by everyone, including the Shimoko Progressive Party and African Christian Democratic Party.