The City of Cape Town has broken its all-time infrastructure spending record, surpassing its FIFA World Cup infrastructure investment.
According to Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, the municipality spent R6.94 billion on infrastructure in its 2022/2023 financial year with its top performing directorates including Human Settlements (99.3% spent of its R880 million capital budget), Safety and Security (99.6%), Water and Sanitation (95%) and Energy (96.9%).
With an R11 billion infrastructure budget in 2023/2024, the City is aiming for a further 41.5% increase in its infrastructure spending compared to the prior financial year, and a 134% increase over three years with a total spend of R43 billion.
Its three-year infrastructure investment is expected to directly create 135 000 jobs in Cape Town, and it has seen four straight quarters of job growth and another new record – the highest number of people employed in Cape Town at 1.7 million people with 279 000 new jobs added over the past four quarters.
“We have just clocked the highest capital expenditure the City has ever achieved – even exceeding the mega projects before the 2010 World Cup. This year, we have invested a record R6.94 billion in capital investment and infrastructure, or 93.5% of our planned budget,” said Mayor Hill-Lewis.
“What makes this number even more impressive is the fact that this was the first time ever that the City didn’t allow any mid-year write-downs on the planned budget. This speaks to a significant culture adjustment, and really puts that 93.5% spend on planned capital investment into perspective.”
Given the collapse of critical infrastructure in SA’s major cities, including sewer, electricity, and roads, the City believes that it is vital that metros urgently ramp up their infrastructure investment.
“I’ve made the point before that our infrastructure spend over this three-year period will be more than Johannesburg and Durban combined. If that didn’t mean anything to you before, I hope it does now following the fatal explosion in Johannesburg’s Bree Street,” he said.
“While it is still to be determined whether the blast was due to a natural gas leak, a build-up of sewer gas, or a combination of the two, it is clear that the city’s neglected and chaotic underground infrastructure played a major part.”
“The failure to clean and maintain sewer pipes, the failure to expand sanitation infrastructure as a city grows, and the failure to comply with safety protocols in the planning and building of infrastructure not only robs residents of dignified services, but it can also be deadly,” he concluded.