Tariff increase upsets PCB

2011-07-01 00:00

THE Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB) has stated its unhappiness at the decision by the Msunduzi Municipality to increase the electricity tariff by 23% without actively engaging with organised business.

PCB CEO Melanie Veness said, “PCB is disappointed that the undertaking made by the city to actively engage with organised business regarding the tariff increases and city budget has not come to fruition.”

She said they are keenly aware of the failings in the city infrastructure, since productivity is directly affected when infrastructure fails.

They acknowledge the need to make more funding available in the budget in order to address the poor state of the infrastructure.

“While we accept that adjustments to the tariffs need to be made in order to accommodate the increases imposed by Eskom, we are confident, that if we had been given the opportunity to unpack the city budget, as promised, we could have assisted in identifying areas of cost savings that could have alleviated the need to pass on so much of the burden to ratepayers,” said Veness.

She said a question worth asking is whether the percentage increases will be based on the tariffs charged by Eskom or on the tariffs charged by the city.

“It is up to government to create an enabling environment for business to operate in, and the burden of creating that environment shouldn’t be passed on to ratepayers,” she said.

Veness added that business needs a conducive environment to create the jobs that are so desperately needed — this additional burden will make job creation much more difficult.

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