New rates and tariffs for the year have been determined and residents will see varied increases in the price of water and sanitation, electricity, refuse removal and property rates.
During an Integrated Development Plan meeting, Mayor Herman Mashaba laid out his plan for the next five years and said the City aimed to keep the increases as low as possible.
“Obviously we are doing everything possible to keep the tariffs as low as possible, however, without revenue we cannot deliver services to you and the rest of the communities,” he said.
Water and sanitation will see a rather large increase of 12.2 per cent. Mashaba said this would only result in an increase of about R43 per month for non-indigent households. He added that only indigent households would receive free basic water according to the Free Basic Water Policy. An indigent is someone who earns less than R3 366 per month.
The Free Basic Water Policy, which was implemented in 2001, stated that every household will receive 6kl of water for free and then households would pay for any additional water they used.
However, Mashaba has said that now, only indigent households will receive free water while non-indigent households will pay for all of their water. The new changes will allow for indigent households to receive between 10kl and 15kl of free water depending on their score on the City if Johannesburg’s Poverty Index. However, indigent households who use more than the monthly limit allowed will pay for their water. [so has there been an amendment to the policy – do ordinary households not receive any free water now – also it says previously only indigent households will receive free water but now you say they will receive up to 15kl free – so do they pay after the 15kl is consumed] Mashaba said by changing this it would provide the City with about R320 million more in revenue which will allow for more sustainable service delivery.
“That is why I said to you we are running a pro-poor, unapologetically pro-poor [administration]. The reason why we are doing this, is so we can give dignity to those communities. We can demonstrate that with our new administration, with our residents, we care.”
Increases to electricity will be 2.28 per cent, refuse removal sees an increase of 6.1 per cent and property rates will increase by 6.2 per cent.