Cape Town – The increase in tariffs for services and tariffs began today in Cape Town as the municipality marked the start of its fiscal year.
Capetonians will now pay more for services like water, electricity, sewage and waste collection.
The biggest increase is the 13.5% on electricity, which the City attributes to Eskom.
Mayco’s member for city finances, Ian Neilson, said they have kept rate and rate increases to the minimum required for service delivery to continue.
“It (the municipality) has reduced its personnel costs by approximately R460 million; leveraged R3.4 billion in aid to the indigent and forgives about R4.1 billion in debt as a payment incentive for troubled customers. The fare increases required are the smallest of any South African metro (based on available data). The city has also absorbed more massive Eskom-induced electricity increases than any other metro in an effort to protect our customers as much as possible. ”
He added that the fares were the lowest of any South African metro in terms of cents per rand.
The price hikes came at a time when unemployment was high in the country, food prices continued to rise, the country was battling the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic and a lame economy.
Resident Henri Wolfaardt argued that the 13.5% increase in electricity did not make sense.
“Keep in mind that buying electricity in bulk is about 65% of the cost for Cape Town to provide electricity to residents. The remaining 35% are salaries etc. which do not increase to 15%. Thus, the average cost increase should not exceed 11.5%. The reason why the levy is expected to increase by 13% and more is pure and simple greed. “
Sandra Dickson of the STOP-COCT lobby group said that despite calls from Capetonians for relief on their municipal bills, the city of Cape Town has gone ahead and increased its 2021 tariffs for their services.
“Responses and the request for relief from the 2021 tariff increases went unanswered after the closing call for comments on the budget. No assistance is offered by the City to those who faithfully pay their municipal bills under increasingly difficult circumstances. Many of the public comments received by the City during the calls for comments on the 2021 budget have been completely ignored. The only winner here is the city of Cape Town which will be able to raise billions more from tomorrow due to the increases. ”
She added that the fact that Cape Town’s increases were smaller was irrelevant as the base from which they were calculated differed from municipality to municipality.
“For example, a 14% increase on, say, R1.00 (lower base) is 14 cents. That’s less than, say, a 13.5% increase over R1.20 which is 16.2 cents. Neilson compares apples with pears. The percentage increase may seem lower, but in reality turns out to be higher in absolute rand and cents. “