Residents all reject new tariffs

2013-02-23 00:00

BUSINESSES and ratepayers yesterday rejected Msunduzi Municipality’s proposed tariff increases, saying they would cripple the city.

This came out during a heated public participation meeting called by the municipality for the ratepayers, business and non-profit organisations to debate the proposed tariff increases for the 2013/14 financial year.

All those who attended rejected the proposed tariff increases of 18% on electricity, 10% on water and 5,5% on all rates, accusing the municipality of “daylight robbery”.

The president of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB), Paris Dlamini, said the municipality should have improved its debt collection capacity to recover at least 60% of the R1,5 billion owed to it, instead of hiking tariffs.

CEO of the PCB, Melanie Veness, said the PCB acknowledged the need for a viable municipality, but was deeply concerned about the state of Pietermaritzburg. “Not a single municipal function is being carried out satisfactorily. This is evident from the lodged objections.”

Veness said the PCB believed that resources were not properly managed and that the budget could be balanced by cost management instead of raising tariffs. “Business is the backbone of the municipality and therefore council must ensure that it is able to retain and attract new investors to create much needed jobs,” she said.

She said the proposed tariff increase for electricity should fall within the tariff limits proposed by Eskom or municipalities, which were still to be determined.

“We object to the proposed water tariff because it far exceeds inflation and is unaffordable,” she said.

Msunduzi Rates Forum, South African National Civic Organisation, Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action, Scottsville Rates Forum and members of the public all rejected the proposed rates.

Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said the purpose of the meeting was to have dialogue with residents and business about the proposed increases. “We wanted to engage with all of you so that we can come up with the best result for our city,” he said. Nkosi said there was still a long way to go before the proposed tariff increases were finalised. “We still have to submit our proposal to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa,” he said.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.