The City is encouraging property owners who are indigent, pensioners and social grant beneficiaries to apply for the social package of rates rebates. File Photo: IOL
JOBURG residents should prepare themselves for huge increases in water and electricity from the end of this month.

The increases are well above the inflation rate with electricity up by 13% and water by 9.9%, depending on consumption which is on a stepped tariff, meaning the more you use the more you pay.

Tariffs for property rates remain at 5.5%, after massive increases were announced earlier this year in respect of the new valuation roll. Refuse goes up by 7%, depending on the property’s size.

Member of the mayoral committee for finance, Funzela Ngobeni, said during the 2019/2020 budget speech that the city had been forced to increase the cost of electricity and water, as these were supplied by Eskom and Rand Water which dictate the prices.

“This budget was the culmination of hundreds of hours of administrative fiscal modelling and priority-setting, which demonstrated a balancing act of service provision in a climate where our resource costs continue to escalate.

“We have worked to ensure that the budget is credible and sustainable,” he said.

Cities around the world are increasingly under pressure to provide basic services and build new infrastructure to address future demands and Joburg is no different, Ngobeni pointed out.

“Adding to this are new sustainability challenges that have seen many cities experiencing unprecedented spikes in household income pressures. Regardless of how a city is being affected by these changes - one thing remains constant - the need to provide crucial urban infrastructure and deliver municipal services as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

“The backbone for the Joburg that works is to be able to deliver effective, efficient and sustainable urban infrastructure,” he added.

Real GDP growth in 2019 is expected to reach 1.5 % - improving moderately to 2.1 % in 2021, a far cry from mayor Herman Mashaba’s promise of 5% growth.

“The main risks to the economic outlook are continued policy uncertainty and a deterioration in the financing of state-owned entities. These factors, alongside continued high unemployment and slow growth will continue to exert pressure on municipal revenue generation and collection levels - especially in respect of residents who face trying economic times,” he said.


The Star