Makhubo said a decrease in revenue was anticipated, especially because of the city's steps to provide relief to residents.
“We think the relief for us is a short-term pain so that we can have sustainable businesses and sustainable revenue and income going forward.
“If we don't do it, we might have companies in distress, we might have consumers in distress and our long-term sustainability as a city might be in question, so we think we must just deal with short term pain for long term benefits for the City of Johnanesburg and its residents,” Makhubo said.
In the month of April, the city under-collected by R800m. "So instead of collecting about R3.4bn, we collected about R2.6bn, which is a huge gap on our budget and we are looking at, together with finance, on how to recover.”
Makhubo also said there would be assistance for businesses including rates rebates for those up to date with their accounts.
“There will be a discount of 10 to 50% off to 'good' citizen businesses who are up to date with their accounts.
“This will improve cash flow of businesses. The departments of economic development and group finance are finalising inputs as part of a special adjustment budget process,” Makhubo said.
Makhubo said a proposal to introduce grant funding of R1,000 to R10,000 per informal traders was also under way.
Chairperson of the portfolio committee Faith Muthambi said the purpose of the briefing — also by the cities of eThekwini and Cape Town — was to enable the committee to understand better the extent of preparedness by municipalities on the anticipated hike in the number of Covid-19 infections.
Muthambi said as metros increasingly became the centre of epidemic, the committee's oversight role become critical.
“We need to satisfy ourselves there will be enough hospital beds and quarantine facilities in response to the projected hike of this infection,” Muthambi said.