Increase in water tariff

2017-04-05 06:04

WATER prices for uMgungundlovu District Municipality customers are set to soar.

Mayor Thobekile Maphumulo has announced an increase from R7 per kilolitre to R22 for the same amount of water.

She made the announcement while tabling a R923 million draft budget during full council yesterday.

Maphumulo said the district had been charging customers too little over the years, which has meant the district was operating on a loss.

“When we buy bulk water, we pay a lot of money and we have been charging our customers less than what we pay. That meant we were not getting our money back.

“The district has embarked on an exercise to review its water and sanitation pricing structure in a move to provide tariffs that are robust and offer sustainability in the provision of services.”

The new pricing structure will be phased in over the years to ensure the consumers are eased into it, said Maphumulo.

“The new pricing structure will see service charges contribute 31% to operating revenue from 20% contributed in the prior years.

“This will resultantly reduce the district’s grant dependency position in operations from 72% to 64%, which demonstrates a strengthening in the internal revenue sources despite the drought conditions,” she said.

The district is also planning to cut down on the use of water tankers with the aim of converting the operational cost of water tanker provision into billable revenue-generating projects.

A whopping R166 million, 98% of the capital budget, will be directed to spending on water infrastructure, the council sitting was told.

The district will also prioritise those areas with failing aged infrastructure that has led to high water losses.

The district has set aside R108 million of the operating budget for repairs and maintenance.

“We acknowledge that this may not be sufficient to meet the demand on the ground as the district grapples with aged infrastructure and we acknowledge that more needs to be done to improve the district’s responsiveness to the great demand for repairs and maintenance of the aged infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, Maphumulo announced the establishment of the uMngungundlovu Economic Development Agency.

The district has set aside seed funding of R3,5 million for the establishment of the agency. Maphumulo also announced the birth of the Adaptation Fund Programme which will focus on climate change.


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