Government has set aside an extra R12,6-billion for municipalities to expand the provision of free basic services and to ensure that they are ready for the 2010 FIFA soccer World Cup, the National Treasury announced on Tuesday.

Nearly half of this amount would be channelled to the local governments for the roll out of free basic services and to boost institutional support for municipalities in poorer areas, it said in its Medium Term Budget Policy statement.

Just over R4-billion would go to municipal infrastructure programmes to improve planning, budgeting and management capacity in local government.

The National Treasury also allocated R2-billion to financing an integrated public transport network in large municipalities, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup host cities.

The host cities would also receive R684-million as an operating grant to ensure their readiness for the sporting event.

This was over and above the R13,8-billion that government would provide over the next three years to enable the host cities to meet the challenges of the soccer World Cup, of which R3,8-billion would go towards stadium refurbishment and construction, and R10-billion for the development of public transport infrastructure and systems.

PUBLICATION: Engineering News
AUTHOR: Matthew Hill
DATED: 30th October 2007