City hits ratepayers with services, rates hikes

RATEPAYERS will feel the pinch when the city’s tariff hikes for services are introduced in the new financial year, following on the heels of a 1 per cent VAT increase which came into effect on 1 April and subsequent fuel hike. The municipality’s draft budget for the 2018/19 financial year is currently open for public comment and consultation.

Budget consultations with standing committees, businesses and the public along with other stakeholders are scheduled for April and May, with a detailed schedule to be communicated to the public over coming weeks.

The final budget will be approved on 31 May with the final Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plan approval by the Mayor in June.

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In a presentation to the Executive Committee, Deputy City Manager for Finance, Krish Kumar outlined local economy constraints, impact and challenges of the budget. These included the high unemployment rate in the City, huge backlogs and further demands due to the impact of rapid urbanisation and the growth rates base being one per cent, while there was a negative growth in real terms on water and electricity income among others.

Proposed tariff increases:

6.84 per cent hike in electricity. This is compared to Eskom’s tariff increase of 7.32 per cent.

15 per cent water tariff increase for domestic and 15.5 per cent for business. uMgeni Water would be reviewing their tariff increase and as a result the City would also review the proposed increase in its tariff.

9.9 per cent hike in refuse removal

9.9 per cent increase in sanitation

6.9 per cent average hike in rates

Regarding rates, Kumar said pensioners, child-headed households, disability grantees and the medically boarded were exempt from paying rates on the first R460 000 of their property value. Residential properties valued up to R230 000 would be exempt from paying rates. All other properties valued above R230 000, the first R120 000 of rates will be charged.

Regarding pensioners property value, the maximum limit of R4 million has been proposed, provided that for those properties above R2 million, the monthly income from a pensions fund/SASSA does not exceed R7 000 per month.

 

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Berea Mail

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Draft budget released: City hits ratepayers with services, rates hikes

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