Durban — A DA in eThekwini petition has been signed by more than 10 000 people who “say no to high tariff increases in eThekwini”.
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.
The petition had a target of 10 000 signatures, but surpassed it and garnered more than 10 900 signatures.
DA eThekwini executive committee member councillor Yogis Govender said: “It is hardly surprising that ratepayers have rejected the increases as they do not receive the services for which they pay. The electricity and water units of the municipality are on the verge of collapsing due to a lack of funds for maintenance and rehabilitation.”
Govender said Durban’s sewer network was not far behind and had been dubbed the “Metro Meltdown” by the media.
“Businesses and residents find living and conducting business in eThekwini to be intolerable as a result of recurrent service delivery failures, yet the ruling party is boldly requesting utility price increases,” Govender said.
She said during his budget, eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda proposed a 21.91% electricity hike for businesses and households.
The proposed tariff increases are:
- Electricity: 21.91%
- Refuse Removal
- Rates: 8.9%
“If the municipality was better at managing its finances and collecting more revenue, it would not be required to impose such substantial price hikes in light of the country’s economic situation,” Govender said.
She reminded voters that when deciding where to mark an X on the ballot, they should keep in mind that the proposed increase is significantly higher than that of other municipalities and even that of Eskom’s municipal increase of 18.49%.
“The DA will vote against these increases as per the mandate given to them by thousands of eThekwini residents,” Govender said.
In the petition, the DA said the proposed tariff increases by the eThekwini Municipality for the new financial year were going to place enormous financial pressures on the residents and businesses of the municipality and the DA in eThekwini had taken a stance to abstain from voting on the absurdly high tariff increases tabled by Kaunda for the municipality’s 2023/24 budget.
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