JOHANNESBURG is ahead of its revenue collection targets and the City is on track to meet the goals set in the 2011/12 Budget.

The member of the mayoral committee for finance, Geoff Makhubo, says “figures for the first half of the financial year reflect the robust health of the Johannesburg finances and a growing confidence among ratepayers who contribute to the city’s coffers”.

“We are making steady progress to strengthen our revenue collection service and restore confidence in the integrity of our billing data,” he says.
“The Revenue Roadmap announced in November is already achieving measurable results and we are getting positive feedback from ratepayers whose billing concerns are being resolved.”

The six-months’ figures as compiled at the end of January show that Johannesburg collected R11,86-billion, which is 50,6 percent of the adjusted budget of R23,4-billion.

“We have exceeded our revenue targets by R466,2-million and I am confident that we will also meet the 12-month goals,” says Makhubo.
Johannesburg had a cash balance of over R2-billion at the end of January which reflects the healthy financial position of the City.

“Our new revenue and customer relations system is being put place over a 19-month period but we are already seeing improved results. We are improving the quality of the customer’s interaction with the City and introducing a step change in our collection system.

“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 also show an operating surplus of R785,8-million – against a budgeted surplus of R688,7-million – while the actual operating expenditure was over budget by R369,1-million.

We have a R2.1 billion sinking fund assets to address our maturing bond. Revenue excluding capital grants as increased by 20 percent year-on-year while our expenditure increased 13 percent year-on-year. This enhanced the ability to meet our obligations.

The City has also put in place a strategy to ensure that expenditure takes place within the revenue envelope. The total operating budget for 2011/2012 was adjusted upwards by R836,8-million to R32,81-billion while the capital budget increased from R3,72-billion to R3,74-billion.

Johannesburg’s budget for the 2012/2013 financial year will be delivered in May.