Durban braces for water, parking hikes

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Durban - Durban residents, already facing rising food and fuel costs, should brace themselves for more financial pain as the cost of water and parking in the city is set to increase.

Metered parking in the city is set to rise by a whopping 33 percent, while the cost of water for domestic users will increase by 9 percent.

The proposals were made during a human settlements and infrastructure committee meeting at City Hall on Tuesday. It would still need to be sent to the full council for approval.

Under the proposal, the hourly parking rate in the city will increase from R7.02 to R8.

The all-day parking rises from R30.70 to R35 – a 16 percent hike – while monthly parking goes up from R166 to R190 – an 11 percent increase.

The deposit for the supply of water and one-and-a-half month’s estimated consumption for consumers who own premises increases from R624 to R683 – a rise of 9.54 percent.

The proposed, above inflation increases raised the ire of DA councillors on the committee, who questioned why they were not linked to inflation.

eThekwini head of water, Neil Mcleod, said the increase was unavoidable as there was a huge demand for services in eThekwini.

He said the city was faced with the enormous task of supplying water to rapidly expanding areas around Durban.

He said thousands of people migrate to the city every year and needed to be supplied with water.

“We need the money for capital expenditure,” Mcleod said on Tuesday.

“We need to invest in bulk infrastructure. The city is growing rapidly and there is a huge demand for services,” he said.

Lilian Develing, of the Durban Combined Ratepayers Association, said the increases would place a huge strain on ratepayers.

“The cost of food has gone up 20 percent and petrol is now at its highest in history. With these further increases it essentially means we will have less money to feed our families. The councillors… don’t seem to live in our world,” she said.

Develing said that with the increases Durban was becoming “too expensive” to live in.

“Every year the city seems to pass the budget without any input from residents. All these increases are very depressing,” she said.

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