Africa's tallest building mooted for Centurion

Kgosientso Ramokgopa delivering Pretoria's budget.

PRETORIA - More than half of the Tshwane municipality's R20 billion budget will go towards infrastructure development and maintenance, Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa announced on Wednesday.

Ramokgopa was delivering the city's budget at a special council meeting in Pretoria.

The budget will be discussed further at a council meeting on Thursday.

Ramokgopa said the city would plough money into development to address poverty, unemployment and inequality.

He said the West Capital Precinct Development, which will replace the Schubert and Kruger Park slums, has been finalised at R6 billion.

The mayor announced nearly R50 million would be spent on upgrades to the Wonderboom Airport and the roads surrounding it.

There was also a lot of excitement around the SymbioCity development, which could see the construction of the tallest building in Africa being built in Centurion. This alone will create 5,000 permanent jobs.

Property rates, sanitation and electricity will go up by 12 percent, while water will increase by 10 percent.

Solid waste will be hiked by 25 percent per year for the next three years, apparently because the service is running at a loss.

Ramokgopa said a by-law which will make it a legal requirement for every household to install an prepaid electricity meter will also help with credit control.

“We have instances where somebody doesn’t pay property rates but wants to buy electricity,” he explained.

“So what we’ll do in the bylaws is now that when you owe us, you will be blocked so you can’t buy until you pay."

The mayor said the municipality will ensure the infrastructure in the affluent suburbs is maintained, so the residents who pay a disproportionate amount of money towards services get value for their money.

“What incentive to I have to pay rates and taxes when there are potholes, when the street lights don’t work and the road markings are not visible.”

“It’s important that we make sure that we stop that accelerated deterioration.”

(Edited by Clare Matthes)