Durban — DA eThekwini executive committee member councillor Yogis Govender has said that the eThekwini Municipality has revised its tariff increases following pressure from the party.
Govender said that the DA in eThekwini had received nearly 16 000 submissions opposing the proposed tariff hikes by the municipality.
She said that the significant number of petitions had effectively alerted thousands of residents to the city’s intention to burden ratepayers with increased tariffs, which did not correspond with the services provided.
“The DA views the mobilisation of thousands of supporters by civic organisations to march to City Hall in opposition to the exorbitant tariff increases as a great victory. In spite of allegations that the DA incited civil society to reject the budget, we are certain that we committed to a fundamental democratic principle by conducting adequate public consultation,” Govender said.
- Electricity tariff from 21.9% to 18.49%
- Sanitation tariff from 11.9% to 10.9%
- Rates tariff reduced from 8% to 7.9%
In his budget, eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda proposed a 21.91% electricity hike for businesses and households.
The proposed tariff increases were:
- Electricity: 21.91%
- Refuse Removal
- Rates: 8.9%
“Although this victory is significant for residents, it is regrettable that water rates will not be cut. These tariffs continue to be unnecessarily high, and businesses will endure a huge 15.9% hike, which is 2% greater than last year. All of these hikes are substantially above the rate of inflation, putting already struggling households in a financial bind,” Govender said.
She said that as the DA pointed out, such a high tariff increase could have been avoided had the ANC-led government recovered the billions owed to it, removed the yearly non-revenue losses of water and electricity, which total nearly R3 billion, and put a stop to corruption and theft.
Govender added that eThekwini was experiencing a gradual collapse, with the national government considering intervention through administration. It was time for mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and his colleagues to recognise the evident signs of decline and step down from their positions, she said.
Last week, the Daily News reported that more than 10 000 people signed the DA’s petition to “say no to high tariff increases in eThekwini”.
More than 15 000 people have since signed the petition.
Residents were asked to sign the petition and object to the tariff increases proposed by the eThekwini Municipality for the new financial year, which starts on July 1.
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