Increase in municipal tariffs for Capetonians start on July 1
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Cape Town - Increased service and rates tariffs started today in Cape Town as the municipality marked the start of its financial year.
Capetonians will now pay more for services like water, electricity, sewerage and refuse collection.
The biggest increase is the 13.5% on electricity, which the City attributes to Eskom.
The City’s Mayco member for Finance Ian Neilson said they had kept tariff and rates increases to the minimum required for service delivery to continue.
“It (the municipality) has cut approximately R460 million in staffing expenditure; availed R3.4 billion in indigent relief, and is writing off about R4.1 billion in debt as a payment incentive for struggling customers. The necessary tariff increases are the lowest of all metros in South Africa (according to available data). The City has also absorbed more of the massive Eskom-driven electricity increases than any other metro in an effort to protect our customers as much as possible.”
He added rates had been the lowest of any South African metro in terms of cents in the rand.
The price hikes came at a time when the unemployment rate was high in the country, food prices continued to increase, the country battled with the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic and a limping economy.
Resident Henri Wolfaardt argued the 13.5% electricity hike did not make sense.
“Bear in mind that power bulk purchase is approximately 65% of City of Cape Town cost to deliver power to residents. The other 35% is salaries etc which does not increase at 15%. So the average cost increase should not exceed 11.5%. Why the levy should increase by 13% plus is plain avarice.”
Sandra Dickson of lobby group STOP-COCT said in spite of pleas by Capetonians for relief on their municipal bills, the City of Cape Town forged ahead and increased their 2021 tariffs for their services.
“The responses and begging for relief from the 2021 tariff increases went unanswered after the closing call for comment on the Budget. No assistance is offered by the City to those faithfully paying their municipal accounts under increasingly difficult circumstances. Many comments by the public received by the City during the Budget 2021 calls for comment, were plainly ignored. The only winner here is the City of Cape Town who will be able to collect billions more from tomorrow due to the increases.”
She added the fact that City of Cape Town increases were lower was irrelevant as the base it was calculated from, differed from municipality to municipality.
“For example, 14% increase on say R1.00 (lower base) is 14 cents. This is less than, say, 13.5% increase on R1.20 which is 16.2 cents. Neilson is comparing apples with pears. The increase percentage may appear lower, but actually, turn out to be higher in absolute rands and cents.”