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North West District Council has received Revenue Support Grant (RSG) of about P235 million for the 2023/24 financial year against their proposed budget estimates of around P291 million which translate to a 15 % reduction.
The council received a budget call for final RSG ceiling which required a downward adjustment of P43,019,600.00 and according to its NWDC finance and works committee chairperson, Luke Motlaleselelo they were then forced to reprioritize their needs and forgo some of the activities and/or projects which were provided for in their first submission of the proposed budget in order to adhere to the call.
Motlaleselelo revealed that due to the reduced RSG activities and projects were then affected. This he highlighted included the resealing of Letsholathebe road, house and toilets for herd men, replacement of vehicles, development of open Spaces, Maintenance of Staff Houses, relief of destitute vote.
They further included primary schools stationery & equipment and refuse contracts, staff training, subsistence and travelling, bank charges, workshops and seminars, stationery and equipment, furniture, equipment and accessories
Motlaleselelo has further argued that with a population of over 85 000 people, the NWDC would experience a burden on its infrastructure and service delivery with the RSG it has received. He highlighted that the district needs more roads infrastructure and the maintenance of the existing ones.
The recurrent budget for the council stand at P248,135,900.00 which comprises of P235,945,240.00 and P12,190,660.00 being RSG and income from own sources respectively. The 2023/2024 final RSG of P235,945,240.00 is slightly higher than the 2022/2023 approved RSG of P223,989,342.00 by P11,955,899 or 5.34% increase.
According to Motlaleselelo, the 2023/2024 total own income revenue is projected to be P12, 190,660.00 which is P1,749,726.00 or 12.55% below the 2022/2023 income budget of P13,940,386.00.
Meanwhile Motlaleselelo reminded councilors that the ministry of finance and economic development has made a commitment to all Local Authorities that going forth, their RSGs will decline on annual basis.
“On the other hand despite revenue generation remaining a challenge, we believe with full implementation of the Revenue maximization strategy, which stipulates establishment of credit control units, e-payments platforms and government’s on-going fiscal reforms we will improve on revenue generation,” the chairman noted.
Motlaleselelo has in conclusion called for councilors to change strategies, cautioning that the continued reduction in the grants will seriously stifle service delivery. He advised that it is time to engage in smarter initiatives for them to be self-reliant and sustainable.
“There is need for high yielding revenue streams and most importantly, with Government’s direction of undertaking economic and institutional reforms that will underpin improvements in enabling Local Authorities revenue generation drive. This is necessary for our journey to high-income status, as laid out in Vision 2036.”