Cape Town - The Theewaterskloof Municipality has accused Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis of lying about its electricity tariff increase in his speech to council last week.
The Theewaterskloof Municipality wants an apology.
Theewaterskloof deputy mayor John Michels, of the GOOD Party, who is part of the coalition running the municipality with the ANC and the PA, said Hill-Lewis’s statement was inaccurate and “cheap politics”.
GOOD Party Cape Town councillor responsible for finance Anton Louw claimed Hill-Lewis made a false claim.
Louw said: “Using Theewaterskloof as an example, was not only a completely irrational argument but the facts were not accurate.”
He said that Theewaterskloof’s website clearly showed that the tariff increase was in line with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) approved 15.1%.
The City is one of six municipalities that refused to comply with the 15.1% increase threshold in July.
The City has pegged its controversial hike for municipal consumers at 17.6% and consumer groups and trade unions are planning a picket outside the Civic Centre on August 9.
Last week, while replying to questions from councillors on the issue of the tariffs, Hill-Lewis gave the example of Theewaterskloof where he said some of the political parties criticising the City on the tariffs were being hypocritical.
Yesterday, Hill-Lewis would not back down and said: “I specifically said that the Theewaterskloof Council had tabled and approved a 16% increase, which is true.
“This was later revised to 15.1%, which does not change the primary issue of the municipality charging poorer households much more for electricity than Cape Town.”
He said in Theewaterskloof, the “lifeline” equivalent tariff is R2.49 per unit up to 250 units in a month, compared to R2.12 in Cape Town and that for usage above 250 units, Theewaterskloof charges R3.27 compared to R2.12 in Cape Town.
“Theewaterskloof’s increase adjustment from 16 to 15,1% amounts to a decrease of 2 cents per unit, but does not change the vastly higher tariff that the ANC-GOOD-PA coalition is charging lower-income households.
“This is the hypocrisy that I was underscoring in Council.”