No Tariff Increase for Ekurhuleni
The City of Ekurhuleni has decided not to increase the municipal tariffs that are within the control of the City, and relaxed credit control and debt management due to the unprecedented COVID-19 circumstances.
This was announced by the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance and Economic Development Cllr Nkosindiphile Xhakaza who delivered the City’s 2020/21 Budget today.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created additional strain to strained municipal revenues. For instance, the City was forced to adjust the budget downwards from an approved MTREF Capex of R7.4 billion in the current financial year to R4.9 billion in the coming financial year – a move that has massive impact on the City’s infrastructure delivery programme.
“Despite our stretched finances, as a caring and responsive government, we have heeded the call. After carefully considering the dynamics and the resources at our disposal, we are proposing NO increase of municipal tariffs that are within the control of the City,” MMC Xhakaza said.
Among tariffs that are not to be increased are the following:
- Assessment rates;
- Sundry tariffs;
- Refuse removal;
- Burial and Cemetery; and
- Municipal Bus Services.
This package will come at a cost of R956 million to the City.
The social package is set to increase by R300 million from R3.8 billion to R4.1 billion this financial year. This is in addition to the R956 million relief that comes with the new tariff structure.
“In the quest to bring dignity to our people and provide a better life for all, we will continue with the social package. It must be made clear that we do that because we understand that our people deserve a compassionate government now more than ever,” said MMC Xhakaza.
The indigent relief breakdown is as follows:
- 100% rebate on assessment rates;
- Free refuse removal;
- First 100kWh of electricity per month is free. This is more than the provision made by national government policy and the City will bear the costs of the difference;
- First 9kl of water and sewer per month is free;
- Special rates on emergency services such as ambulance and fire-fighting; and
- Free indigent burial.
The City will continue to provide the first 6kl of water for free to all households with a property value of up to R750 000. With regard to electricity, 100kWh of electricity will be given to every household meeting the requirements of a consumption of 600kWh and below – which is the Inclining Block Tariff (IBT) A.
To minimise the effects of the lockdown on the ratepayers, interest on current arrear debt accrued from 1 April 2020 are suspended for a period of six months; with payment extensions; debt payment