Durban – The Greater Edendale Residents’ Association has accused Msunduzi Municipality of being inconsiderate when raising their tariffs for the 2023/24 period, saying for most of the residents municipal costs have become unbearable.
The members took to the streets on Friday and marched to Pietermaritzburg City Hall to vent their anger to the municipal leadership. The association is made up of members from Edendale, Imbali and other townships in Pietermaritzburg.
The residents waved flags expressing their unhappiness over the hikes, and that they had no money.
Speaking to ‘The Mercury’ on Sunday, chairperson Petros Dlamini said the march was a culmination of endless engagements with the municipality, which he said had not yielded any results.
He cited unemployment for many residents, and high living costs as the reasons why the hikes that were passed recently at a council meeting were unaffordable.
“The march is a demonstration that high costs for municipal services are not only affecting residents in suburbs, but township property owners as well. We just do not have the money,” he said.
He questioned how some of the decisions were taken by the municipality.
“Aside from the rates we are just unhappy about the decision-making process by the municipality in which it appears that our concerns are never taken into consideration,” Dlamini added.
He said they were hoping for a positive response from the municipality, noting that their memorandum had been received by city Manager Lulamile Mapholoba.
The municipality was not immediately available for comment about the march and the concerns that were raised by the ratepayers association. The municipal financial year began on July 1 this year and the rates increases and other costs that were passed will take effect from this month. The increases that were approved at the council sitting were 10% for water, 16% for sanitation, 7% for refuse collection, 7% for rates and 21.49 for electricity.