Basic tariffs ­to increase

2017-06-07 06:00

Residents within the Mangaung Metro Municipality should brace themselves to dig deep into their pockets.

In the budget speech, hikes exceeding a 6% increase in tariffs for basic services, were announced.

Higher tariffs to be applied from next month, on 1 July, are on water, electricity, property rates and taxes, as well as sewage.

Olly Mlamleli, Mangaung Metro mayor, announced new tariffs on Wednesday (31/05) when presenting the budget speech for the 2017-’18 financial term.

Mlamleli presented the Mangaung Metro budget, projected at R7,2 billion in the 2017-’18 financial year (including capital grants).

Mlamleli said this represent a decrease in revenue of R336,2 million. (This shows a reduction of 4,44% on the 2016-’17 adjustment budget of R7,5 billion).

The budget is for the greater Mangaung Metro, which include Bloemfontein, Botshabelo, Thaba Nchu, Soutpan (previously administered by the Masilonyana Local Municipality), Wepener, Dewetsdorp and Van Stadensrus (formerly administered by the Naledi Local Municipality).

The mayor said the allocation for the outer years are R7,8 billion and R8,5 billion respectively.

Mlamleli announced that sewerage tariffs will increase by 6,25% for both residential and non-residential properties in the 2017-’18 financial year and by 6,90% and 7,80% for the two following years respectively.

She said the sewerage charges were linked to the property values, envisaging an income from a sewage source of revenue to be at R1,2 billion and R1,4 billion respectively over two years, estimating this to be grown to R282,5 million in the 2017-’18 budget year.

According to Mlamleli, this represent an increase of 18,99% from an adjustment budget of R237,4 million of the 2016-’17 financial year.

Water tariffs are set to increase by 11% for 2017-’18 and by 10,9% and 9,80% for the two following years with a basic charge of R24,64 per month for properties with a market value that is equal to or above R80 000.

Mlamleli said the projected revenue for water was expected to increase to R945,2 million for 2017-’18 and to R1 billion and R1,1 billion over the two following years.

Electricity tariffs will increase by 2,28% (on average) for the 2017-’18 financial year.

The mayor said revenue from electricity service charges was projected at R2,2 billion in 2017-’18, a 5,37% (R126,8 million) decrease from the 2016-’17 adjustment budget of R2,3 billion).

Mlamleli said that the increase for the two following years is projected at R2,3 billion and R2,5 billion.

Although the city council has approved an increase of 6,25% on rates and taxes on properties, according to Mlamleli the city’s assessment rates for residential properties remains the lowest among the country’s metros, saying it is at 0.7001 cents.

She said the rates and taxes policy was amended to provide for an exemption for residential properties with a market value of R80 000 or less.

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