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Tuesday Mar 27, 2018

Joburg rates increases set for July

Joburg residents face rates and services increases in July.

The general property rates increase will be about 18.5%, as a result of the new municipal valuation roll.

Hardest hit will be the poor, with the proposed refuse collection costs of 45.4% for properties measuring 300 square metres and less. Properties larger than that face increases of 14.2%.

Water is set to increase between 12.2 and 14.9% for consumption between 10 kilolitres to 20 kilolitres, which is the consumption of a three-bedroom household.

And people who operate businesses illegally from residential areas will be forced to pay out six times the residential tariffs as a penalty, if caught, to stop illegal uses.

Pensioners who own properties worth less than R2.5 million - up from R2m - and who earn less than R9 245 will qualify for a 100% rebate. Pensioners earning up to R15 825 will get a 50% rebate.

Residents who receive a pensioner rebate will have to reapply in June/July. They will need to do this only once during the new valuation period of four to five years.

Councillor Tim Truluck explained that these are averages - individual accounts will vary from these, depending on the property's valuation, size and usage.

"Just to put these tariffs into perspective, the projected money collected from property rates, electricity, water, sewerage and refuse is estimated at R40.8 billion - or 76% of the city's total budget of R53.7bn for 2018/19.

"Any shortfall in collection means a reduction in necessities like streetlight repairs, road resurfacing, new road signs and staff to man all the departments," he pointed out.

Other proposals, which are likely to hit customers hard, and which many residents regard as hidden costs, will be the "scrapping" of the demand-side management levy of 2 cents/per kWh, which will be replaced with a 6 cents/kWh municipal surcharges placed on all categories, except the first 500kWh per month for residential customers.

The increase in the monthly service charge for domestic accounts is set to rise from R114 to R123.

Residents have until April 22 to lodge their objections.

The proposed tariffs can be found on under "key documents".

Anna Cox
The Star


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