Rates increase a blow to cosumer budgets

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GK CRONJE

1 July 2022

Msukaligwa Local Municipality had residents hot under the collar with their rate increase proposal in May 2022, where the community was given option to comment on the proposed increases.

Suzuki Ermelo (WEB) 22 September 2020.jp

Msukaligwa Local Municipality had residents hot under the collar with their rate increase proposal in May 2022, where the community was given option to comment on the proposed increases. At the time, the municipality has proposed a 5% (plus 5% rebate covered) increase in property rates, and a section mysteriously named “other” seeing a proposed 6% increase. The municipality now proposes to put a 7.47% increase on electricity tariffs in effect, on top of the already loaded electricity prices. The municipality also proposes an expenditure increase of 9.61% for bulk electrical purchases, and a 15% expenditure increase on the interest of late Eskom payments. The municipality claims that the residents owe R909 557 309 in unpaid services. The municipality has proposed a 6% increase in water tariffs, which has hundreds of residents and business owners hot under the collar. Sewerage services will see a proposed increase of 6%, along with the same being applied to refuse services. These proposed expenditures include employee related costs being increased with 4.90%, councillor remuneration being increased with 4.90%, bulk water inventory being increased with 10%, and contracted services being increased by 4.40%. Repair and maintenance, which is stated as 10% of the municipality’s operating budget, is proposed to be increased by 100%. Lastly, diesel and petrol expenditures are proposed to be increased with 30%, stating the Ukraine conflict as the reason. The infamous “other” expenditures category sees a proposed 4.90% increase.

From there, very little communication has been given on part of the municipality. The average rate increases, that steps into effect today, 1 July 2022, have been making the rounds. With no feedback from the municipality, and no updated tariffs on their website, these are the numbers that residents should take into consideration.

Residential electricity tariffs will see a 9.61% increase. Tariff bracket A will see consumers pay R1.73 per unit, with a 600 unit bracket limit. From 600 to 700 units, consumers will pay R2.95 per unit, and excess of 700 units will see consumers paying R8.32 per unit. Tariff bracket B will see an increase to R2.56 per unit, with a monthly fixed charge of R57. These prices are exclusive of VAT at 15%.

Consumers will pay an 11% increase in water and sanitation services for residential areas.
Water rates will be as follows: 0-6kl will be R16.18 per kl, 7-15kl will be R26.66 per kl, 16-30kl will be R32.66 per kl, 31-45kl will be R40.64 per kl, and 46kl and more will cost R50.11 per kl. These are calculated on a 30 day (monthly) cycle. (1000 Litres is equal to 1kl).

Waste removal for residential areas will see a 7% increase.

The Tribune asked Msukaligwa Local Municipality to confirm the above rates, but had received no feedback from the relevant departments.