Municipal Matters: 6 steps a municipality must follow in preparing the budget

Step 1 – Planning

At least 10 months before the start of the budget year, a schedule must be tabled by the mayor outlining key deadlines with regards to creating the draft budget and integrated development plan (IDP). This includes the annual review of the IDP, and budget-related policies. The schedule must outline consultative processes. The final date for this is 30 August.

READ: Municipal Budgets – What you need to know

Within this plan it must schedule  key dates, establish consultation forums with stakeholders and departments.

Step 2 – Strategizing

This is an internal process that must be completed by the end of October.

During this period the budget office must review the IDP, set service delivery objectives for the next three years, consult on tariffs, indigent policies, credit control policies, free basic services (FBS) and consider local, provincial and national issues. The budget office must review previous year’s performance and current economic and demographic trends.

READING: Tariffs, service fees explained

Step 3 – Preparing

The preparation phase of the annual budget must be completed by no later than 30 June. Items that must be prepared include the revenue and expenditure projections and draft budget policies, and it must include broad consultation with communities and consider local, provincial and national priorities. It is during this period that the municipality will engage with stakeholder groups such as traditional leaders and interest groups such as business chambers. It is important to register your LCO as a stakeholder, thereby allowing your association to exert greater influence on the budget, policies and tariffs.


Step 4 – Tabling

The draft budget, revised IDP, the Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP) and related budget policy and tariff documents must be tabled before the municipal council anywhere between January and 31 March.

Once it has been tabled the documents must be available on the website within 5 days. There is a 60-day public consultation process.

Step 5 – Approving

The draft Budget/IDP, the SDBIP and related documents for the upcoming financial year must be approved only once the public consultation process is finalised, and before 30 June. The approval requires a vote by the full council. 

Step 6 – Finalising

Within five days of the budget and related documents being approved, they must be placed on the website. The approval of the budget also triggers a 28-day window in which the mayor must approve and publish the SDBIP.

Source: Kano Consultants