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Friday Apr 10, 2015

Joburg property owners 'must object to steep hike in tariffs'

The City of Joburg has tabled proposed tariff increases for 2015/16 and residents have until May 24 to object.

The DA has appealed to residents to lodge their objections to the increased tariffs.

Councillor Ralf Bittkau says the mayor and his team have gone along with any increases levied on them by suppliers and passed these on to the residents of Joburg.

Increases in electricity are 12.1 percent, water an average 14.5 percent, sanitation 15 percent and solid-waste removal 8 percent.

"As was seen during the course of last year, Rand Water was failing and thus they opted to increase their tariffs by 14.5 percent.

"We all experience, on a daily basis, the failure of Eskom and hence their increase of 12.36 percent," he said.

And, to make things worse, City Power loses almost 30 percent due to technical and nontechnical items, such as electricity theft through illegal connections.

Joburg water loses between 37 percent and 40 percent.

Over and above this, the revenue collection by both entities was far below the target of 95 percent, he said.

"The mayor and his executive would have done well to limit the increases and ensure that City Power and Joburg Water knuckled down and addressed their losses in an aggressive manner and made up the shortfalls like that.

"Furthermore, the revenue collection department, through ensuring that correct invoices went out, could easily improve on their collection rate."

However, said Bittkau, these were only proposed tariff increases and the public had until May 24 to object.

It was time for citizens to make their voices heard and objected to these high increases, he said.

Residents can either send a letter to Group Strategy, Policy Co-ordination and Relations, PO Box 1049, Braamfontein 2000, or send an e-mail to itumelengmoa-AT-joburg.org-DOT-za or angeliquem-AT-joburg.org-DOT-za.

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