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Treasury shares sources of R5bn coronavirus relief for municipalities

12 May 2020 - 21:24 By Naledi Shange
Treasury has given a breakdown of the sources of relief funding for municipalities.
Treasury has given a breakdown of the sources of relief funding for municipalities.
Image: Leon Swart/123rf.com

The National Treasury on Tuesday gave a breakdown of where the R5bn the government has given to municipalities to tackle the coronavirus pandemic comes from.

In a statement, Treasury said the bulk of these funds had been given to the municipalities by the Treasury for the 2019/2020 financial year but were not contractually committed. This money could therefore be reallocated for the use of the pandemic, in accordance with the Division of Revenue Act.

The Treasury said while the provincial financial year ended on March 31, the municipal financial year ran until June 30.

“This means that grant funds transferred from national government before the end March 2020 still had another three months to be spent by municipalities,” it said.

Sharing where some of the funds come from treasury said:

  • R2.4bn has been taken from the urban settlements development grant, which was allocated to metro municipalities. These funds would now be used for providing water and sanitation in under-serviced informal settlements and to cover the increased costs of more frequent waste management and other services.
  • R1.5bn which was initially meant for the municipal infrastructure will be redirected for the provision of water and sanitation and any emergency of existing water infrastructure.
  • R970m which had been set aside for the public transport network was now being allocated to the sanitisation of public transport facilities.
  • R306m in the indirect regional bulk infrastructure had been allocated will now be used for the distribution of water tanks.

Meanwhile, another R151m has been approved for release from the municipal disaster relief funds to support non-metropolitan municipalities with the costs of sanitisation and increased provision of other municipal services.

“Government is also supporting municipalities to reallocate funds from other conditional grants that are projected to be under-spent,” said the Treasury. 

“Details of further support to municipalities in the 2020/21 municipal financial year will be announced when the minister of finance tables the special adjustment budget to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic that was announced by the president.”