CWDM’s Budget Guided by Dignity, Economic Growth, and Safety

CWDM’s Budget Guided by Dignity, Economic Growth, and Safety

“I want to assure you that this is a credible and well-calculated budget. This budget champions dignity, ensuring that basic needs are met and rights are respected. It is designed to advance opportunities, stimulate economic growth, and create jobs within our district. By investing in key sectors and initiatives, we aim to empower our residents and grow our local economy. Lastly, this budget prioritizes initiatives that enhance public safety and health, strengthening community resilience to create environments where all residents feel secure and protected,” stated the Executive Mayor of the Cape Winelands District Municipality, Ald (Dr) Elna von Schlicht, when tabling the budget.

The Cape Winelands District Municipality (CWDM) has allocated R503.9 million to various projects, with a further R127.2 million dedicated to capital projects.

“Compared to a local municipality, our budget is not that large. However, the manner in which we manage the budget allows us to make a positive impact on the lives of our citizens and visitors,” stated Mayor von Schlicht. She explained that the budget focuses on three key areas: social support and dignity; safety, environmental health, and well-being; and creating opportunities for economic growth and tourism.

To address the dignity of citizens, the CWDM is allocating just over 23% of its budget to projects that support social development. These include Early Childhood Development (ECD) support programs and initiatives like adult diaper and sanitary towel distribution, which help maintain the dignity of those who might otherwise be overlooked.

A portion of the budget is dedicated to safety and environmental health projects. These include constructing a safe passage sidewalk for the visually and physically impaired, enabling easy and safe access from the Pioneer School and Institute for the Blind premises to the central business area of Worcester. Other projects involve clearing road reserves, promoting road safety awareness, and environmental health education programmes.

The mayor highlighted the important work of the Municipal Health Services (MHS) of the CWDM: “Did you know that Environmental Health Practitioners ensure all food produced and/or manufactured in the Cape Winelands is safe to consume? From the farm to the abattoir to the table, everything is evaluated! Additionally, the MHS ensures that our water is safe to use!”

More than R800,000 is being spent on the Community Safety Implementation Plan, which will help local municipalities create safer communities.

The last important area of focus is creating opportunities for economic growth and developing tourism to boost the Cape Winelands District’s economy. The mayor shared the positive experiences of meeting with beneficiaries of small farmers’ support, entrepreneurial seed funding, investment, mentorship, and business retention programs during the Mayoral Business Stakeholder engagements. Many of these businesses continue to expand, contributing to the economy and job creation.

A total of 20% of the budget is allocated to projects that benefit local economic development opportunities, training, and job creation. Additionally, 8% of the budget is allocated to EPWP projects under the land-use and spatial planning unit, creating job opportunities for the unskilled labour market through invasive alien vegetation projects.

In response to requests for assistance from small businesses, trade, and the tourism sector during IDP sessions, the CWDM hosted a successful Trade and Tourism Expo, the Winelands Autumn Expo, in Worcester on 24 and 25 May 2024. The Expo presented an opportunity to grow the economy by showcasing the scenic beauty of the Cape Winelands, highlighting tourism experiences, locally produced wines, spirits, other products, and businesses. Over 2000 visitors attended the event, which will be held annually, subsidized by the CWDM for the next four years, offering businesses of all sizes and from diverse industries a vibrant platform to converge and collaborate.

Ald (Dr) Elna von Schlicht concluded the budget statement, saying, “We aim to rekindle hope among our residents. As a Council, we have the responsibility to ensure equal opportunities, job creation, and safer communities while working towards economic growth and serving our communities with pride.”

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