Some metros want eye-watering rates, tariff hikes

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eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality residents will face the sharpest tariff increases out of the country’s major metros if the city’s draft budget for 2023/24 is approved.

In practical terms (rounded up), it wants electricity tariffs to increase by 22%, water by 15%, sewerage by 12% and property rates by 9% from 1 July.

Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, tabling the draft budget, claimed that “the three biggest contributors to the increases are out of our hands, that is, the Eskom increase, Umgeni Water Board increase and salary increases”.

This does not explain why its proposed electricity tariff increase of an average of 21.91% is 3.42% higher than Eskom’s 18.49% municipal hike.

Umgeni Water’s approved tariff increase for bulk water is around 13%. Its proposed residential property rate increase is nearly double that of Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay and Ekurhuleni. But already, its rates are significantly higher than Joburg and Cape Town.

On a R1 million property, an eThekwini homeowner pays more than 100% more than one in Joburg and nearly 200% more than one in Cape Town.

Tshwane and Mangaung are excluded from this comparison as neither have tabled draft budgets for 2023/24. Tshwane, which has battled instability this year, is nearly two months late in tabling an adjustment budget for the current year. Only then can it focus on the draft budget for next year.

Read the full article on Money Web here.

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