City tariff hikes finalised

2011-05-02 00:00

MSUNDUZI municipal tariff increases have been finalised. Residents face an an increase of eight percent on rates, water, refuse and sewer charges, while there is no escaping a 23,3% hike in electricity costs due to increases by the National Electricity regulating Authority (Nersa).

The Msunduzi municipal budget was passed at the final sitting of the outgoing council on Friday.

Mayor Mike Tarr, in his budget speech, apologised that it had to be drawn up in a short space of time and under difficult circumstances. He said there was little time to discuss the budget with various stakeholders as a main concern was to produce a balanced budget.

Tarr said the highlight of the current budget is that for the first time the various projects listed in the city’s five-year Integrated Development Plan (IDP) were linked to the budget. This means there was already money set aside for each of the projects listed.

“The IDP will cease to be a wishlist as it often was in the past, but now becomes a living document against which council and the public can monitor progress,” said Tarr.

He said there will be updates on council’s budget expenditure posted on the municipal website. In addition, regular reports will be presented to the different portfolio committees.

The DA did not support the budget. The party’s Roger Ashe said the increases were above the country’s rate of inflation of four percent and that the national government had set targets to keep inflation below six percent.

Ashe said that in addition to this, National Treasury had imposed a provisional limitation of 4,8% growth in expenditure. He said in light of the above, the eight percent increases at Msunduzi were excessive as they exceeded the upper inflation target of six percent.

“While this is a balanced budget, it should have been based on a more cost-efficient system that would not require excessive increases in rates and tariffs.”

The IFP supported the budget, but had some concerns. Caucus leader Dolo Zondi said he was concerned about the tariffs as people are not getting value for money.

The overall budget provides for total revenue of R3,357 billion and total expenses of R3,267 billion, giving the municipality a surplus of R90 000 to boost the depleted coffers. In addition, the municipality will be receiving R325 million in the form of various grants from national government and this money has already been earmarked for specific projects on the IDP.

Msunduzi Municipal tariff increases for 2011/12. The budget has been drawn up based on these revised tariffs

 

Electricity (bulk) 21,6%

Electricity (other) 23,3%

Water 8%

Sewer 8%

Refuse 8%

Landfill site 8%

Property rates 8%

Other tariffs 8%

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